Girls Volleyball: Plainfield East tops Joliet West
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media September 3, 2013 9:10PM
Updated: September 3, 2013 10:33PM
Hitting, blocking, passing, serve-receive.
Tuesday at Joliet West, Plainfield East was on fire.
And then it weren’t.
Plainfield East coach Emily Tonon had seen it before, her team crumbling at the first sign of struggles.
“In the past, I’ve seen the team go down(hill) because of that,” Tonon said. “This game they didn’t let that get to them. They started fighting again once the score got even.”
Plainfield East was able to regroup from a huge West comeback, pulling out a 25-9, 28-26 win in Joliet.
MacKenzie Welsh’s 12 kills and eight digs powered the Bengals (3-4). Briana McGee (6 kills, 2 aces), Kelly Grba (12 assists) and Aleia Tripp (8 digs) also contributed.
Welsh and McGee led an efficient, even dominant, offense through one-plus sets Tuesday. East blasted its way through the first set, Welsh slamming home the final kill.
The second set looked to be much of the same with an Abbey Warke service run (3 aces) putting the Bengals up 17-8. In stepped Joliet West’s Kailey Foster (5 digs, 3 kills), serving the Tigers back into the set with an impressive 9-0 run that featured three service aces.
“We stopped fighting as a cohesive unit,” Welsh said. “That’s part of the issue we have. We need to work on being a team together on the court.”
Welsh and McGee came through late, Welsh regrouping for three kills with McGee providing two. East fought off set point at 25-24 and closed on a 4-1 run that featured kills from Lily Binkus and McGee.
Joliet West (2-5) hit into the net to end the match.
“Having that much of a lead, we thought we won,” Welsh said. “(The comeback) helped, though, because it gives us that momentum to keep going.”
Elexis Coleman (4 kills, 3 aces, 8 digs), Shannon Doran (8 assists), Jalyn Vertin (3 blocks) and Casadi Brendemuehl (7 digs) led Joliet West.
“It’s the things that kill you at the varsity level: lack of communication and unforced errors,” West coach Al Mart said. “I would have loved to see what we did with a third set, but we didn’t earn it.”