Girls Volleyball: Lyons survives Young’s upset bid
Updated: November 3, 2011 9:48PM
Laura Williams and Alexis Viliunas form an unorthodox and devastating offensive combination.
Williams is a superb outside hitter and Viliunas is a 6-foot hitter who doubles as the team’s setter.
Williams registered 19 kills, six assists, a block and ace and Viliunas added 13 kills and 24 assists as the defending Class 4A state champion Lyons survived host Young’s upset bid with the thrilling 27-25, 22-25, 25-16 Sectional championship Thursday night.
“We lost a lot of hitters from last year’s team and I knew I had to give us another hitting option, especially when Laura is on the backline,” Viliunas said.
The Lions advance to play Marist in the Hinsdale South super sectional Saturday afternoon.
Williams had six of her kills in the decisive third game. She punctuated the victory with a hammer kill down the Dolphins’ right side for the final point.
“We were a little intimidated at the start of playing somebody on their home floor, with their great and loud fans and the noise, and it took us a little while to get into a groove offensively,” the Duke-bound Williams said.
Williams had four kills and three assists in the first game to help the Lions (30-8) rally in the first game. Williams recorded the only ace of the first game to give Lyons a 24-23 advantage in the first game.
Junior outside hitter Alyssa Keeve had three of her six kills down the stretch as Lyons outscored the Dolphins 10-5 to reverse a 20-17 deficit.
Behind the extraordinary play of senior outside hitter Madisen Lenzini, junior outside hitter Danielle Schroeder and senior setter Jenna Jacobson, the Dolphins stormed back from a 12-9 deficit in the second game with a 10-3 burst to capture the middle game.
Jacobson had 14 of her 36 assists in the second game. Lenzini had 10 of her 21 kills as the Dolphins (33-5) proved their gaudy record was legitimate. “I’ve never seen [Lenzini] play that great before,” Schroeder said. Making up for the loss of starting middle hitter Hanna Lee, Schroeder added 17 kills, two blocks and three assists.
“It was a great match, the only problem was in the third game they played to our weakness, and they hurt us a lot with tipping,” Schroeder said.
“They hurt us in the first game, which we controlled,” Schroeder added. “We got excited having the lead late, and sometimes when we get excited we also get nervous and we ended up making some hitting mistakes.”
Lyons also had a key backdrop to call on. “We’ve played in the last two state championship games, and we have a lot of players used to playing in these high pressure situations,” Williams said.