Sandburg cruises past Andrew

As sophomores called up to the varsity at midseason, Leah Lane and Julia Borschel had front-row seats in 2012 to watch the Sandburg power hitters club, otherwise known as Dakota Hampton, Paige Bendell and Kristy Theisen.

The dynamic trio combined to put down 758 kills for the Eagles, who were 29-9 and a sectional semifinalist.

Talk about a tough act to follow.

“I definitely looked up to them as role models,” Lane said after Sandburg’s 25-12, 25-10 victory Tuesday over host Andrew. “Being able to watch them, I think, helped me get to the point where I am today.”

Borschel, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, had eight kills and four blocks. Lane, a 5-11 right side hitter, contributed five kills and two blocks as the Eagles (6-3) for the most part dominated.

Andrew (2-5) was led by Kaileen Herman (8 assists), Mary Farrelly (6 digs) and Lexi Pranckus (4 kills).

For Eagles setter Sami Knight (14 assists, 9 digs, 3 kills, 2 aces), the new season has brought a new approach to her role as the team leader on the court.

“Last year Dakota was kind of helping me (call plays),” Knight said. “She didn’t run the show … but if she wanted to run something I would definitely try to give her the ball because her and Paige were our best hitters.

“Now I’m taking control more and leading the group, and trying to make the team better.”

Knight spread the ball well against Andrew, and also threw in the element of surprise herself with three successful misdirection tips.

Sandburg’s defense, led by Kelly McGovern (14 digs) allowed just nine Andrew spikes to drop for kills.

The Eagles especially were dominant in the latter stages of both sets, breaking open a 7-7 tie in Set 1 with a 7-0 run and scoring the final 11 points in Set 2 behind blocking and hitting by Borschel and Lane.

Maybe the passing of the torch won’t be so tough after all.

“I had that flash through my mind at the end of last year on that final point when the ball hit the ground just what a terrific group of seniors we had,” Eagles coach David Vales said.

“I reminded the girls of that this summer, but I also reminded them that, ‘They’re gone and this is your team. This is your 13 players that are going to be together.’ They bought into that concept during summer league. We just redefine ourselves.”

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