Emily Kwak was like a kid in a candy store.
So many options to choose from.
Spreading the sugar around to a host of hitters, Kwak and Naperville North made it look easy in the second game of Thursday’s 25-18, 25-10 DuPage Valley win at Wheaton Warrenville South.
A four-year varsity setter like Kwak and hitters like Megan Wernette and Caitlin Miller in the middle, Jen LaCorte and Ariana Budnik on the pins is nice — but Kwak is wise to where the offense starts.
“Our passing and defense is really strong,” said Kwak, who set 14 assists. “When we have consistent passing and defense I feel like I can go anywhere.”
Kwak and the Huskies (20-7, 8-0) are going home next with matches next week versus Wheaton North and Glenbard North. The former is the big one, the Falcons one back of Naperville North as the DVC race winds down.
“We beat them in three games at their place,” North coach Jennifer Urban said. “We’re looking forward to playing them a second time in our home gym.”
WW South (9-19, 3-5) made things difficult for North early Thursday.
A pair of early aces from Kara Watts and an ace from Rachel Burau staked the Tigers to a 7-3 Game 1 lead. North crept to within 12-11, and in perhaps the pivotal point of the match the Huskies dug out a slew of Tigers spikes before landing one of their own for a 13-13 tie.
Regaining serve, LaCorte landed an ace, Miller rejected a WW South dump shot and slammed an overpass, and the Huskies were off and running.
Wernette finished with seven kills, Miller and LaCorte four.
“When we have long rallies like that those are big momentum-changers,” Kwak said. “We try to treat every point like it is match point, but points like that one give us a lot of energy.”
WW South gave away the last four points of the first game on errors — and never was able to regain what it had early.
The free balls added up for North, and the Huskies knew what to do with them.
“We let them get back into a rhythm, and they are a good team when they get into a rhythm,” Tigers coach Bill Schreier said. “Our serve receive deserted us, and it started to show.”
A Watts kill had WW South within 6-5, but from there North snapped off an 11-1 spurt. It started with a Tigers service error, and ended with LaCorte whistling two kills from the left pin and Miller rising up to put down another WW South overpass.
“We kept getting a lot of free balls,” Urban said. “In that situation if you have a good pass there are a lot of hitters available. Our middles played well and our pins have been playing well recently.”
Kristin Martin had seven kills and five digs and Burau 10 assists for WW South.