By: Luke Drase
After starting off conference play with a loss against Maine East, Maine West has won two straight CSL North matches bringing their conference record to 2-1.
Not only has Maine West impressed during their recent conference slate, Monday’s 25-15, 25-14 victory against Deerfield came after a successful Maine East tournament where they defeated a top-5 team in Naperville North.
“I think the recent wins gives us the confidence that we can play with anybody,” said Maine West coach Mike Cott.
“It’s just about developing a level of consistency within ourselves. We have some moments where we have some mental lapses and it cost us against good teams.”
Maine West’s consistency issues did come into play against Deerfield, but early leads in two nearly identical sets were enough for Maine West to come away with a victory.
In both set one and set two, Maine West jumped out to 7-1 leads, but saw Deerfield come back and make it an 11-8 match due to passing and hitting errors.
Cott said: “We just need to stay more mentally focused. I think it’s just a matter of keeping the foot on the gas and having a killer instinct. We gave up an eight point run in game one and with those kind of things, we have to side out and do a better job of focusing on the next point.”
However, it did not take long for Maine West to reestablish comfortable leads. Maine West improved their their defense and cut down on hitting errors in both sets to win the battle of the Warriors.
Per usual, Jessica Riedl was the focal point of the Maine West offense, but is was a balanced attack that gave the Warriors their second conference win of the season.
Amanda Grzebien and Reilly Olson led the Warriors with six kills a piece, and Riedl chipped in with four of her own.
“It’s really important that we stay balanced, we have six players on the court at all times. Jess is Great but it’s a collective effort” said Cott.
“She frees up a lot of one on one’s for our outsides and right sides and if they’re able to terminate, it gives us a big advantage because teams just can’t camp out on her.”
Maine West takes a quick trip to the city where they will face Lane Tech on Wednesday before resuming conference play Monday against GBN. Deerfield has the week off before facing conference leader Highland Park next Monday.