Gillian Thanasouras leads Sandburg past Lincoln-Way East

SHARE Gillian Thanasouras leads Sandburg past Lincoln-Way East
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Sandburg junior Gillian Thanasouras wasn’t particularly pleased when she found out that the Eagles’ biggest match of the SouthWest Suburban Blue season Tuesday was being moved from the Eagle gym to the tiny Gold gym.

“The big gym has a better, bigger atmosphere,” she said. “It’s more exciting. Each year you always want to play in the Eagle, growing up through the Sandburg system.”

And one other thing.

“It was hotter,” Thanasouras said, smiling as she waved her hand to cool herself off.

She certainly didn’t lack for energy during Sandburg’s 25-19, 25-22 win over Lincoln-Way East.

The 5-foot-9 outside hitter topped the Eagles (29-5, 6-0) with eight kills and three aces. Julia Borschel added seven kills, Leah Lane six kills, Morgan Kmak 19 digs and Sami Knight 22 assists.

Lincoln-Way East (21-13, 5-1) was paced by Kailey Hackett (5 kills, 9 digs, 9 assists, 2 aces), Sarah Dobrich (6 kills, 2 blocks), Maddie Nirchi (9 digs) and Leah Seielstad (8 assists).

The win put the Eagles in the driver’s seat to win their sixth consecutive conference title. They can put a wrap on it Thursday with a win at home over Homewood-Flossmoor.

“We’re trying to take it one game at a time,” Lane said. “It’s always a goal of ours to win conference, and it’s one of the first goals we can achieve.”

Thanasouras was key in helping Sandburg make the first breakaway of the match. The Eagles were down 7-5 when she put down a kill for sideout, then went to the service line and fired three aces in row. It was part of a 6-0 run that changed the leader for the final time.

East had a run of its own, however. The Griffins trailed 22-13 when Dobrich scored on a block and earned herself the serve. After Kailey Hackett landed a kill, it was 22-18.

Lane then stepped up big for Sandburg with two kills and a service point to close the game out.

The Eagles never trailed in the second game, but East didn’t go away. Back to back kills by Mel Weller were key in a late surge that got the Griffins within 23-22, before Kristina Stoncius put one down for a point and Knight served an ace to end the match.

“Collectively we played very well,” Hackett said. “Sandburg is a really, really good team. We had the mentality coming in that we were going to give everything we could.

“We were on a streak in conference and we did well (Saturday) in the Lincoln-Way Central tournament. So we’re doing really well and we’re hoping for some wins in the playoffs.”

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