Girls Volleyball: Lemont rolls past Joliet Central
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media August 20, 2012 10:28PM
Joliet Centra's Emily Eichholzer hits the ball against Lemont during their volleyball game in Joliet Monday, August 20, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 22, 2012 6:19AM
Having already lost star outside Emily Brown to graduation, Lemont was dealt another blow in the offseason when expected starting middle Tess Moeller went down with a season-ending knee injury.
But as the Indians showed in their season opener Monday, this is a team and a balanced one at that.
No. 9 Lemont cruised to a 25-19, 25-20 nonconference win at Joliet Central in the opener for both teams.
“We really don’t have one star,” Lemont senior Kiley Rendak said. “Everyone just works well and plays well together.”
Rendak had five kills to go with solid efforts from Megan Litoborski (20 assists), Tess Cannon (15 digs), Kelly Ferguson (4 kills) and Cara Howell (4 kills) for Lemont.
Emily Malone (10 assists, 8 digs) and T’ara Austin (7 kills) led Joliet Central.
Having held back a late Steelmen charge in the opener, Lemont held a slim 13-12 lead in the second set. Kills from Ferguson and Howell helped distance the Indians, who led by as many as seven points down the stretch.
Team balance came into play as six different players registered a kill in the match-closing 12-8 run. Quiet offensively for the middle stretches of both games, Rendak had two kills, including the match-winner, with Ferguson and Howell contributing two apiece during the run.
“We all looked at the score and just knew we had to pick things up,” Rendak said. “We should have been playing better so we picked up the defense, got Megan the ball and put down the kills.”
For Joliet Central, the glimpses were there in both sets to mount a comeback or even take the lead, but unforced errors put a stop to any possible runs. The Steelmen had 22 errors, 11 in each game.
“We’re a fairly young team trying to put things together, but we could never get on a run,” Central coach Suzzie Bambule said. “We never got our offense going and I think it was just some nervous jitters.”