It was a quick Thursday night for the Schaumburg Saxons at the Niles North regional. After jumping out to 5-0 leads in both sets, Schaumburg defeated Wheeling in straight sets, 25-17, 25-16.
Schaumburg coach Tim Murphy said it was something that the team had discussed: “It’s one of our game plans, we always want to start fast, we don’t want to play from behind. If we can get energy and keep momentum on our side of the net we see that as a positive thing to move forward and have some success.”
Throughout the match Schaumburg’s aggressive serving put pressure on Wheeling who seemed to struggle in serve receive all night.
It was clearly not the same Wheeling team that had upset Loyola two night’s prior. The Wildcats seemed out of sync as they tried desperately to overcome errors in almost every facet of their game.
“We didn’t have as many nerves,” said Murphy. ” On Tuesday we just couldn’t shake them off as quickly. Tonight we probably had some nerves and butterflies for the first point or two but once you get a little lead you start to get rid of those things and everything takes care of itself at that point.”
If Schaumburg was nervous it sure didn’t show. Senior outside Morgan Sterrett paced the Saxons on the night with 8 kills, 2 blocks and a pair of aces.
In set one with Schaumburg leading 11-8, Sterrett had an emphatic kill that went right to the floor and lifted the team and Schaumburg crowd. The Saxons never looked back.
Although Sterrett’s play was outstanding, Schaumburg had contributions from all over. RS Dana Kiszkowski added 10 kills, libero Gabby Paelmo was credited with 6 digs and her passing in serve receive was money all night.
Murphy, who is in his first year at Schaumburg was proud of not only his seniors but all of the girls: “I got a great group of girls I inherited. They bought into what we were saying as a coaching staff and positive things have happened for them so far.”
Schaumburg will face MSL rival Hersey on Monday in sectional action at New Trier High School.
The Saxons defeated Hersey 13-25, 25-22, 25-22 during their meeting back in September, but sectionals are not the time to look back on prior accomplishments.
“We hope to keep it rolling,” Murphy said. “We have the ability to compete with them and the girls know they have the ability to compete with them. We need a couple of good practices and we’ll come out and turn some heads.”