By: Luke Drase
It was not always easy, but the Evanston Wildkits girls volleyball team defeated the Lane Tech Indians in straight sets to win their opening match of the season 25-18, 25-19.
The Wildkits started out strong in the newly renovated Beardsley gymnasium, jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead, but Lane Tech managed to fight back and take a 16-14 lead late in the set.
That lead did not last long however, as Evanston won 11 out of the next 13 points to take the opening set thanks to some timely defense, and a potent offense led by outside hitter Rosemary Gibbons.
Evanston kept that momentum rolling into the second game. After losing the initial point of the frame, the Wildkits went on an incredible 10-0 run thanks to the serving of defensive specialist, Siena Prokopenko.
Despite enduring deficits of 10-1 and 18-8, Lane Tech never folded. The Indians tipped their way back into the match and even managed to cut the lead to just two points before Evanston tightened up the screws defensively and closed out the match.
Evanston libero Patty Duffy said: “It was frustrating but as a team we just came together and pulled it together. We got the hang of it and we were able to read them the more they kept tipping.”
Although the Wildkits did manage to hold on for the victory there are still a lot of things that they can improve on to make sure comebacks like that don’t happen again.
Head coach of the Wildkits, Mallory Thelander said: “I would say our biggest flaw is all the errors that we made. If we can minimize our errors and focus on our side, they were not doing anything special it was all on our side.”
Luckily for the Wildkits, there is still a lot of time to improve upon their mistakes as they have a very busy schedule early on in the season.
“I’m just looking forward to going up from here. We have a tournament this weekend, then we have another tournament the following week,” said Thelander.
“I think that trying out different lineups and things like that will be good for us.”
Evanston will be back in action on Wednesday, with a home game against Leyden.