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Pehar powers Niles West to victory

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By: Luke Drase

Niles West picked up right where they left off last season. The 2016 state qualifiers defeated Lake Forest handily 25-7, 25-21 to move to 2-0 on the young season.

The Wolves raced out to an early 12-3 lead thanks to excellent serving, which was much improved from their game against Highland Park earlier in the week.

Niles West head coach Stacy Roth said: “The first game we served amazing. We were hitting all of our zones, the girls were serving the ball in so our percentage was really high and we took them out of their serve receive.”

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Even though Niles West were serving and passing well, the story of the first set was All-Conference outside hitter, Natalia Pehar.

Expectations are high for Pehar, but she showed why she is one of the best players in the area, putting away four kills during the opening run from Niles West.

“I really want to keep up the fact that I got the highest amount of kills on my team last year,” said Pehar.

“I also really want to accomplish getting All-Conference this year and in regards to the team, I want to be a good role model as a captain.”

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After the opening set onslaught, Niles West started the second set in a similar fashion, by jumping out to 15-10 and 19-13 leads.

However, Lake Forest fought back hard to cut the lead all the way down to 21-19 before Niles West setter Michelle Choy served out the match with a couple of aces to give the Wolves the straight set victory.

Despite the late rally from Lake Forest, coach Roth was extremely pleased with her teams overall performance.

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“I think all the way around our girls played great tonight,” said Roth.

“There’s nothing that wasn’t there. The setting was well distributed, good defense, good passing, good hitting. I think Lake Forest just played better the second game.”

The Wolves have all the tools to make it back down-state, and all-around performances like the one tonight will go a long way to achieve that goal.

Niles West will look to continue their early season success tomorrow night when they host Northside College Prep.

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