By: Luke Drase
One year ago, Niles West defeated New Trier in the regional final during their incredible run to state.
This time, it was New Trier’s turn to get their revenge.
Two weeks after having their perfect conference season ended by Niles West, New Trier ended they Wolves season, beating them 25-20, 17-25, 25-19 to advance to the sectional finals.
Similar to the last two sets in the match two weeks ago, Niles West found themselves with a 9-6 lead after a multitude of errors by New Trier.
New Trier would cut back on their errors and tie the set up at 11, but it didn’t last long. This time, it was problems in serve receive that gave the Trevians issues, allowing Niles West to go on a 6-1 run, putting them in a commanding position up 17-12.
After the Niles West run, New Trier substituted out outside hitter Maddie McGregor for extra defensive help, a testament to the Trevians depth. Improvements in serving, and serve receive would eventually see New Trier climb all the way back to tie the match at 20.
New Trier would close the set on a five point run, being the benefactor of poor Niles West passing and communication for the 25-20 win.
Carrying their late run into set number two, New Trier flew out to a 7-3 advantage.
With things looking bleak for Niles West, it was once again Natalia Pehar who came up big for the Wolves.
Stepping to the service line, Pehar’s serves were borderline unfair, as New Trier could not get a handle to get their offense going.
After Niles West tied the set up at eight, the game would go back and forth until it reached a 17-15 Niles West lead. It was Pehar’s serve that gave Niles West the advantage yet again, as the Wolves would go on to cruise to a 25-17 set two win.
Unfortunately for Niles West, the deciding frame did not go as planned.
Coupled with their own hitting errors, Niles West could not stay in system off of New Trier’s serve, falling into a 11-3 hole to start the final set.
Niles West managed to make it interesting as they cut their deficit in half at 14-10, but another incredible passage of play from New Trier essentially put the match away as they went up 21-12.
The Wolves would make a bit of a run, but it was far too late by that point. New Trier would go on to win the final set 25-19, securing their place in the sectional finals on their home floor.
New Trier will face Hersey on Wednesday night for the sectional championship and the right to advance to the Lake Zurich super sectional.