Girls Volleyball: Lincoln-Way Central turns aside Lockport
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media September 24, 2013 9:48PM
Lincoln-Way Central's Maria Brown (3) hits as Lockport's Meredith Friscia (10) and Kayla Pheiffer defend, September 24, 2013. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 26, 2013 6:44AM
Go ahead and key in on Lincoln-Way Central’s Maria Brown. She dares you. The Knights dare you.
Pick your poison against Lincoln-Way Central. If Brown isn’t on, a seemingly endless wave of hitters is there to pick her up.
“It’s huge (having so many hitters),” Brown said. “It keeps defenses guessing. You take elements from all our different positions with all our different plays, and you never know where it’s going.”
With Brown turning in a huge day to the tune of 14 kills and 14 digs, Lincoln-Way Central cruised early and finished late in a 25-18, 29-27 SouthWest Suburban crossover against visiting Lockport.
Mariel Liebovitz (29 assists), Jacqueline Langer (7 kills, 11 digs) and Claire Vrabec (6 kills, 3 aces) led Central (10-1).
Coming off a huge performance at the Asics Preview, Brown continued her hot streak. The senior outside had seven kills in the first set, with six different Knights slamming at least one kill during the set.
“We go to the outside a lot so we’ve been working on going to the middle, going to the right side,” Brown said. “We’ve been working at it and it’s been working for us.”
A Knights team that’s struggled at times closing out sets came through Tuesday. Central faced set point in the second three different times. Off a Lockport line violation at 27, Brown blasted her 14th kill of the match, Langer finishing things with her seventh kill, placing it in the middle of the Lockport defense.
Vrabec and Langer had four kills apiece late to help keep Central alive.
“We always have to stay focused,” Vrabec said. “Even if it’s their game point, stay focused. Get the pass, get the set and put the ball down.”
Kayla Pfeiffer (7 kills, 3 blocks), Olivia Witsaman (12 assists, 12 digs), and Rachel Weis (8 digs) led Lockport (5-5).
For Porters coach Erika Lange, this wasn’t a bad loss, just one that has to be tightened up.
“We’ve played so sparsely the first month I feel like we’re starting our season now,” Lange said. “This is a good gauge for us. Central came through in the clutch, and we didn’t.
“It’s not a matter of being able to compete with the top teams. It’s a matter of being mentally tough.”