Girls Volleyball: Plainfield North casts aside Metea Valley
By Rick Armstrong email@example.com October 31, 2013 9:04PM
Updated: December 2, 2013 12:42PM
Fourth-year varsity player Dakota Santore described herself as “timid” her first three years at Plainfield North.
“I’ve been trying to step up and be more of a leader,” the senior said Thursday after the Tigers won their second straight regional championship, beating host Metea Valley 25-20, 25-18.
She’s done it. The 5-foot-8 outside hitter put down a match-high 12 kills and joined libero Madion Zyburt in anchoring steady back-row play to lead the Bengals to their 33rd win against four losses.
They move on to Tuesday’s Class 4A Plainfield South Sectional semifinal against Yorkville Regional champ Naperville North.
“I think we’ve got some really good senior leadership that really helped with our composure,” said Tigers coach Tracy Marshall, who had her players watch the Nebraska-Illinois match on the Big Ten Network the previous night for inspiration.
“We had prepared well for this match and I wanted them to see some high-level volleyball. That’s the last thing I wanted in their heads.”
Marshall’s only other senior on the roster is a Clemson recruit, setter Kaitlyn Federico. She had 20 assists and put down four kills.
“They’re a great team. We wanted it really bad but they outplayed us a little bit,” Metea Valley setter Ellie Petersen (12 assists) said. “They’re big, but that’s never stopped us before. We’ve beaten some big teams but it just didn’t fall our way (Thursday).”
The Mustangs, who got seven kills and four digs from Lexie Lobdell, close the season 20-10.
The hosts led only once in each set, both at 1-0. The Mustangs kept it close throughout but never could regain the lead.
Santore closed out the first set with a resounding kill just inside the back line and she served up the match winner on a point from 6-foot-2 Allie Lindroth’s seventh kill.
Kaitlyn Fisher also had seven kills for the winners and Lauren Robeck added four.
“I thought we were ready but we didn’t execute the way we wanted to,” first-year Metea Valley coach Bob Macdonald said. “Plainfield North is a big team and they hit some over our blocks and hit some open areas.
“I think their middles were better than we expected, and I thought their lefty right side (Fisher) was one of the difference-makers.”
Plainfield North and Naperville North have met once this season.
“We lost in three sets, by two points in the last one,” Marshall said.