Girls Volleyball: Lemont scores three-set win over Shepard
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media October 1, 2013 10:08PM
Updated: November 3, 2013 6:42AM
Lemont welcomed Shepard and its undefeated conference record to the Indians’ home court Tuesday with huge South Suburban implications on the line.
The Indians were ready for it.
Maybe too ready.
“I feel like we were prepared for this match because we knew it was coming,” Lemont’s Blair Cremerius said. “Everyone cheering, just everything, I think it may have gotten into our heads a little bit. We didn’t pick it up as fast as we should have.”
Faltering early in its first set loss, Lemont was able to turn things around in dominant fashion, claiming a 22-25, 25-14, 25-16 win over Shepard in the South Suburban crossover.
“We were throwing all our fancy moves out there (in the first set),” Lemont’s Ali Lund said with a smile. “We had to come together as a team and finish it strong.”
That strong finish came as a necessity after a disheartening Set 1 loss. Shepard (15-7, 8-1) trailed 12-5 in the opener, only to explode for a 20-10 set-closing run.
A wakeup call? Most definitely. There would be no crazy run for Shepard in the second set.
“We knew we had to push right away to get up,” Cremerius said. “We couldn’t let them get into our heads and just play our best.”
Lemont (20-5, 8-1) went up 20-10 thanks to Shae Millinowisch’s service run and an all-around attack. The third set was much of the same, Cremerius powering the Indians offense with four kills and an ace to jump-start a 21-11 advantage.
Shepard managed a late spurt, but an error and Cremerius’ seventh kill closed out the match.
“We knew in the second and third we had to stay strong, keep it simple,” Lund said.
Lund finished with five kills for Lemont. Tess Cannon (10 digs, 3 aces), Katy Klein (13 digs, 8 assists), Millinowisch (16 assists) and Jenna Walaszek (11 digs) also contributed.
Caroline Graham (17 assists), Kendall Yerkes (7 kills) and Chrystal McAlpin (4 kills) led Shepard.
“I really think it comes down to Lemont being a little more experienced,” Shepard coach Dan Grunauer said. “I was upset because the girls are surprised they can play at that level (like the first set), and we didn’t know what to do with it in Game 2. We see (the good) in spurts.”