Julie Camarena serves up winner for Elgin

SHARE Julie Camarena serves up winner for Elgin
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A 12-0 scoring run is hard to come by in volleyball, and watching one player serve for 11 of those 12 points is even more uncommon.

With her side trailing 13-10 to Streamwood in Game 2 of a regional opener on Monday, Elgin senior Julie Camarena kept her serve in and let her teammates do the rest, propelling the Maroons to a 25-15 win.

Elgin won 25-21 in Game 1 at the Class 4A Elk Grove Regional.

“It just felt like I had to get back there, do my job, and get it over,” Camarena said. “It was one of my better days serving, and everyone on the team was doing a good job digging and hitting when it came back over.”

The win sends No. 11 Elgin (12-22) to a regional semifinal Tuesday against No. 6 Maine South.

“This is my eighth regional as a varsity coach and my first win,” Elgin coach Scott Stewart said. “It also ended a 10-game losing streak. We talked about playing error-free volleyball, one point at a time.

“I was almost not going to serve (Camarena) because she’s been struggling, but she stepped up and did her job.”

Camarena had 12 digs and two aces, Tiana Palumbo had seven digs and eight assists, Abby Pierre-Louis had three kills, and Emma Sirridge had three blocks for Elgin.

No. 22 Streamwood (3-26) fought well in its Game 1 loss and led 7-0 in Game 2 before the wheels came off.

“We came out strong and they were ready to play,” Streamwood coach Sheryl Hettinger said. “But then we made a couple mistakes and it had a ripple effect.”

Monday’s first game saw No. 14 South Elgin top No. 18 Elk Grove 25-13, 25-15, setting up a regional semifinal against No. 3 Maine East.

“We played good volleyball and we earned our points,” South Elgin coach Joni Plach said. “Their middle (Amber Lindfors) got a lot of kills but we were able to get our points when she wasn’t in the front row. “We’ll keep playing well if we don’t make a lot of errors. We made smart shots and we served tough.”

Trailing Elk Grove (8-25) by an 11-10 count in Game 2, South Elgin (19-14-1) used a 10-0 scoring run to take control. Renee Rush served three of her four aces during the run and finished with six assists and four kills.

Katie Innis had five assists and two kills, Casie Swanson had nine assists, and Sarah Hallas finished with six kills.

The 6-4 Lindfors finished with 11 kills for Elk Grove.

“She was very big but we got a few blocks on her and started picking up some tips,” Innis said. “Our setter and our hitters really connected, we were more consistent with our serves, and we’ve made much fewer mistakes lately.”

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