Photo: Three Kaneland volleyball captains receive the Regional Plaque at Hampshire on Oct. 25: Jenny Lubic (left to right), Ashley Prost and Lauren Banbury.
Photo by Patti Wilk
Lady Knights dethrone Sycamore, defeated by R-B on Tuesday
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Volleyball came to its end for Kaneland High School on Tuesday night in Woodstock, Ill., but not before the postseason run had its share of highlights.
While KHS was ousted in the Marian Central Catholic Sectional by fellow Class 2A unit Richmond-Burton, the Kaneland program achieved a monumental Hampshire Regional championship win last Thursday against Sycamore.
The Knights had their work cut out for them on Thursday, battling not just Sycamore, but the ghosts of regionals past.
What occurred was an exorcizing and subsequwnt nabbing of the school’s first regional championship since 1991.
“I think we put everything we had out there and outhustled them as much as we could,” sophomore Ellie Dunn (four kills) said. “We ran for balls that I didn’t even think we could get sometimes.”
Midway through the first set saw the Lady Knights work out to a 15-9 lead, but the Debbie Klock-coached Lady Spartans closed within 15-12. Side outs were exchanged until a Lauren Banbury kill made it 18-14.
After Sycamore closed within 18-17, Side outs and errors played into the match with kill attempts often finding their way out of bounds. The Lady Spartans closed within 21-19, but kills by Lyndi Scholl (seven kills, six digs) and Banbury increased the lead to four. After a spike attempt went over the line, it was a Banbury kill that served as game point with the final six-point margin.
A tight second game saw a lead as big as six for KHS. A Keri Groen kill set the score at 19-17, with a Scholl kill increasing the lead to three.
The Lady Spartan lineup rallied to tie with an ace at 20-20, but a set into the net gave the Lady Knights the lead for good at 21-20. It was an exchange of Side outs that led to game point, with a bump that trailed off, serving as game point for the final two-point margin.
“They are a really good team, so I was expecting just craziness to come,” Banbury said. “I was giving everything I had on the court, and I think the team was, too.”
KHS coach Todd Weimer’s first regional title in his eighth season at the helm came as part of team play that was par for the course.
“I think it’s been a pretty terrific season. We’ve had some really good matches. I don’t know if this was our best match or not, and there’s always room for improvement. But this is the best effort I’ve seen from these girls,” Weimer said.
In Tuesday’s other sectional semi, Marian Central Catholic defeated Grayslake Central, 25-17, 25-9.
The Lady Knight program says goodbye to seniors Tucek, Rachael Clinton, Scholl, Groen, Banbury and Ashley Prost.