Waubonsie Valley aces test against East Aurora

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Despite being heavily favored against East Aurora, Waubonsie Valley wasn’t taking any chances Thursday.

With the Upstate Eight Valley title out of reach thanks to Tuesday’s loss to Neuqua Valley, the Warriors made sure to secure the next best thing, routing the visiting Tomcats 25-8, 25-2 to clinch second place.

“It was mostly about getting back in the groove,” Waubonsie Valley junior Brooke Burling said. “We took it seriously because it was a conference match and if we couldn’t get first we knew for sure we were going to get second. That was the kind of mindset that we came out playing [Thursday].”

The Warriors’ play was second to none as they scored the first five points of the match on two kills each from Taylor Dunwell and Caroline Cordes and an ace from libero Michelle Lee.

Cordes, in particular, was a force. The 5-11 junior middle led all players with six kills, including three straight to boost Waubonsie’s lead to 11-2.

The Warriors (18-10, 6-1) pounded 22 kills and made just one hitting error. Becky Breuer had five kills, while Dunwell and Brianna Webb both landed three kills and Burling and Anna Jaskoviak each had two.

East Aurora, in contrast, never got any offense going and finished with three kills, two of them by Nikki Fakrawalla. The Tomcats never had a chance against Waubonsie’s focused ferocity.

“We don’t want to play down to any level,” Cordes said. “We want to try our hardest, keep our energy up and work hard.”

The Warriors made several lineup changes in Game 2 but proved even more dominant, especially at the service line. Nine of their 14 aces came in Game 2.

Burling served the first six points of the game, including three aces, and finished with nine service points and five aces. Cordes had three of her four aces during a nine-point service run and Becca Fortsch closed the match with a seven-point run, three of which were aces.

“I felt like we all did our part and we all played our roles,” Burling said. “That’s what really contributed to our success, so we’re really proud of our team.”

Waubonsie Valley coach Kristen Didier was happy to see her squad play well ahead of this weekend’s Autumnfest Tournament at Glenbard East.

“We just emphasized that every conference match is as important as the next, every win is as important as the next,” Didier said.”We’re heading into a tough tournament [Friday] and Saturday, so it was a nice opportunity to try some things.”

Setter Lauren Hiller added 16 assists and six service points for the Warriors, who are experimenting with a 5-1 offense.

“We’re really excited,” Cordes said. “We’re connecting a lot better. We went through a little rough patch last week but we came back and we’re ready to fight.”

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