Girls Volleyball: Plainfield North wins Mizuno Cup title
By Phil Brozynski For Sun-Times Media October 12, 2013 10:26PM
Updated: November 14, 2013 6:58AM
Plainfield North keeps climbing the ladder.
After finishing third at its own tournament to open the season and then placing second at the Wheaton Classic behind Benet, the Tigers broke through in the St. Charles East Mizuno Scholastic Cup tournament Saturday at the Great Lakes Volleyball Center in Aurora.
Tournament MVP Kate Federico had 27 assists, four kills, three aces and two blocks, and 6-foot-1 junior right side Kaitlyn Fisher (2 blocks) and Dakota Santore (4 aces) each added eight kills to lead Plainfield North to a 25-21, 17-25, 25-20 victory over Muskego (Wis.) in the championship match.
Fisher, who had just three kills in Game 1 and was shut out in Game 2, sparked a 16-5 run in Game 3 that helped Plainfield North rally from an early 9-7 deficit. Her kill gave the Tigers match point after Muskego had run off six unanswered points to close to within 23-20.
“There was so much adrenaline, it’s amazing,” Fisher said. “You learn that you have to work together as a team. You just can’t rely on your coach to win the game for you. That’s when you test yourself the most, to see if you’re going to be a good team or a great team.”
Federico had three of her kills and two aces in Game 1, including a huge swing at 23-21 to give Plainfield North some breathing room.
“If there’s an opening and we’re struggling or if there’s a long rally, that’s when I’ll hit it out there,” she said. “The second game, we kind of beat ourselves. It was mostly our errors. It was all inside our heads. When someone makes a mistake, you have to shake it off.
“We started coming back in the third game and fighting more, and our hitters started getting good shots,” she added. “Our defense was great, our serve receive was on point and I just knew where to put the ball. If somebody’s got the hot hand, you have to keep on feeding them.”
Allie Lindroth added seven kills and seven digs, Lauren Robeck had five kills and Maddie Zyburt had nine digs and two aces for Plainfield North.
Freshman Brooke Gostomski had 12 kills, Lauren Kudronowicz added nine kills, Michelle Fugarino had 16 digs and Morgan Kath added 34 assists for Muskego (24-11).
“We just couldn’t put the ball away (during Plainfield North’s run),” Muskego assistant coach Caitlin DuPont said. “Once they got on that run, we dug ourselves a hole. We did fight back. It just wasn’t enough at the end. But I was impressed with our intensity and composure against some tough teams.”
Plainfield North reached the finals by defeating Lincoln-Way East (15-11) by a 25-21, 25-16 count and St. Charles East (20-5) by a 25-22, 23-25, 25-18 count. Muskego knocked off Naperville North (23-3) 15-25, 25-14, 25-20 and Geneva (20-6) 25-20, 25-21 to advance.
St. Charles East defeated Geneva 19-25, 25-17, 25-22 to finish third and Naperville North toppled Lincoln-Way East 25-17, 15-25, 25-21 for fifth.
Benet (23-3), which entered the tournament as the top seed and winner of 11 straight regular-season tournaments, defeated Lincoln-Way Central 25-22, 25-21 and Prairie Ridge 25-10, 25-23 to win the Silver division after losing to Naperville Central 25-19, 30-28 in pool play Friday.
“We learned that we can’t take anything for granted, that we can’t take any plays off,” Benet libero Caroline Wolf said. “Volleyball’s a very mental game, and if you’re not mentally strong, if you’re not mentally there, you’re not going to win.
“It’s a really good learning experience,” she added. “I think we’ll grow from it.”