By: Luke Drase
A shorthanded Maine South Hawks girls volleyball team started out the season on the right foot as they defeated the Prospect Knights 25-17, 20-25, 25-13.
The Hawks took the first set easily, but Prospect fought back hard in the second frame in a back and forth affair.
After a disappointing second set, Maine South head coach Kathleen Durkin decided to switch up the lineup to try and spark her team.
Durkin said: “We have a girl injured right now, we had another girl who unfortunately had a death in the family, so I was definitely changing up the lineup a lot, and it’s early on so nothing is set in stone and these girls have to work for their positions.”
Despite missing players and losing the momentum in the second set, Maine South came back to win the decisive set in convincing fashion.
“I just felt like we played more like a team, we had more intensity and we didn’t let the ball hit the floor,” said Durkin.
“In game two we just lacked communication but in game three we gelled more as a team.”
Maine South received important contributions from every single one of their players at one point or another during the game, as nobody on the squad had more than 5 kills for the match.
However, one player did stand out above the rest, junior setter Katie Carmichael whose distribution confused the Elk Grove block all night.
Carmichael siad: “I think we had a ton of energy our third game. We’re a really young team and usually as a young team you would be kind of timid, but we were super aggressive and I think that definitely worked out in our favor.”
Carmichael’s play did not go unnoticed by her coach, who praised the young setter’s leadership qualities and impressive distribution of the ball.
“It’s just something she does, she is just so smart. Distributing the ball is something that we want to do but she just takes it upon herself to do it,” said Durkin.
“[She’s] just an amazing player and I thought she did really well when she was in the front row, mixing it up to her hitters, but also using the dump to her advantage.”
Maine South will have to contend with the likes of New Trier, Glenbrook South and Niles West in a loaded CSL South. However, when they are at full strength they could cause some major headaches for the top teams in the area.
Maine South next plays at Rolling Meadows on Thursday night.