Hersey returned to the sectional finals in a big way.
After trailing by large deficits in both set one and three, Hersey rallied back twice to beat Schaumburg 25-23, 16-25, 25-22, advancing to their first sectional title match since 2009.
Set one started out with the usual sectional jitters as errors were commonplace for both teams, keeping the opening set close.
With the game tied at six, Schaumburg settled into the match and opened up a four point lead after more errors by Hersey. The Saxons would extend their lead 17-10 before a Hersey timeout changed the tide of the opening set.
After the second Hersey timeout, the Huskies rattled off four straight points thanks to kills by outside hitters Amy Morgan and Kati Kaburov.
Hersey would slowly crawl their way back into the match, cutting the deficit to 18-15 before a scoring change at the table mysteriously changed Schaumburg’s 18-15 lead, to just a 17-16 lead. After a few more points that went Hersey’s way, that gave the Huskies take a 19-18 lead, another delay ensued.
The down official and the table had a long discussion about the previous score change. When the dust had settled and all parties had been heard from the official score had again been changed again, this time to a 19-17 Schaumburg lead.
Not to be deterred by the score change, the Huskies clawed their way back into the match after a couple of kills by Hayley Martin to go along with a couple Schaumburg hitting errors.
Down 23-21, Hersey would close out the first set with four straight points, capped off with a Schaumburg double contact to take the opening set 25-23.
It looked as though Hersey had taken the wind out of the Schaumburg sails, but the Saxons regrouped in set two and led from almost start to finish.
Senior outside hitter Morgan Sterrett had 6 kills and a stuff block and RS hitter Dana Kiszkowski added 3 kills and a block assist in the second set alone as Schaumburg cruised to a very easy 25-16 set two win.
Going into set three, Schaumburg built off the momentum of the previous set win by jumping out to an 8-2 lead.
Unlike the first game Hersey coach Nancy Lill refrained from calling a timeout and let her team work their way back into the match.
After a long rally with several excellent digs by both sides Hersey earned the serve trailing 9-3.
It was at this point when sophomore Kati Kaburov stepped to the service line. With her aggressive serving, Kaburov would lead Hersey on a 10 point run to take a 13-9 lead.
The Huskies continued to pad their lead, and looked to be in good shape with a 19-13 advantage.
After a missed Hersey serve, Schaumburg finally managed to settle back into the game. Sterrett took over serving and in a familiar scenario, led the Saxons all the way back to a 19-19 tie.
With the match set up for it’s thrilling conclusion, Kaburov stepped up bug again for the Huskies. During the final stretch of the match, Kaburov put away three kills to will the Hersey to a 24-20 lead.
Schaumburg had one last gasp, fighting off two match points, but a missed serve ended the Saxons season and gave Hersey the 25-22 victory.
Hersey was lead by the outside hitting tandem of Emma Strozewski and Kaburov who had 10 kills each. Setter Alessia Olhava was big in the back row with 24 digs and libero Julia Coniglio came up with 10 digs of her own.
The second seeded Hersey Huskies will face the one seeded New Trier Trevians on Wednesday night at 6:00 pm in the sectional final at New Trier.