T.F. South’s Jenna Pasko had a headache at the start of Thursday’s South Suburban crossover match against host Oak Lawn.
By the end, she was giving them out.
The senior outside hitter took over the match during the stretch run in Game 3, finding four different ways to help the Rebels prevail in a 25-10, 20-25, 25-18 victory.
Pasko had two kills, one block, served for one point and made a point-saving dig in helping stretch out what had been a very tight lead. She finished with three kills, five blocks and 15 points.
Briana Lilly (7 kills, 6 blocks), Crystal Lee (9 kills, 14 digs, 4 aces), Brittany Krusza (4 aces), Sarah Pimentel (12 service points) and Gabrielle Mullen (14 assists) also starred for the Rebels (19-5, 10-1), who are closing in on the South Suburban Blue title.
“Last year we shared the title (with Lemont). This year we want to win it by ourselves,” Pasko said. “It’s a big deal.”
Oak Lawn (11-11, 6-4) was led by Bri Markusic (12 kills), Alli Yacko (5 kills, 5 digs), Simona Tomczak (5 kills, 18 digs), Jessica Gavras (8 digs) and Rebecca Suarez (22 assists).
What turned out to be a very competitive match began as a blowout.
T.F. South ripped off 11 of the first 12 points, with Lilly and Lee dominating at the net, but the Spartans also helped out with a series of unforced errors.
The Rebels also brought their ‘A’ service game, Krusza firing three in a row and Lee going back-to-back as well.
Oak Lawn had little in the way of a response.
“I think we were just nervous,” Markusic said. “We knew they had three D-1 players, and I think we got it in our heads that they were going to dominate us.
“I talked to them, saying that we had to shake off the first game and bring the energy we had the past couple of (matches), and who cares if they’re D-1. It’s how we play, not how they play. And it kicked on.”
Oak Lawn found its balance – and also some confidence in Game 2. The Spartans didn’t wilt, standing tough after a kill to the back line by T.F. South’s Jordyne Miles made it 20-19 Rebels.
Markusic began swinging away for Oak Lawn, tying it up with a kill, and then following with three more. An ace off the tape by Tomczak sent the match to three games.
“When we played as a team it was amazing,” Lee said. The second game we weren’t, how do you say, as one. We were all over the place, kind of scattered.
“The third game we put it back together again, and played as one team.”