Natalie Schilling stones West Chicago in Glenbard West win

SHARE Natalie Schilling stones West Chicago in Glenbard West win

Her teammates call her “stone cold.” Her coach calls her perhaps the best hitter he’s ever had.   Tuesday against West Chicago, Glenbard West’s Natalie Schilling proved them both right.   Schilling, a 6-foot-1 sophomore outside hitter, had eight kills to lead No. 9 Glenbard West to a 25-21, 25-16 victory over the visiting Wildcats in both teams’ season opener.   “She’s stone cold,” Glenbard West coach Peter Mastandrea said. “That’s what we call her. She can put the ball down. She’s pretty special. That’s a 15-year-old kid. We’re going to enjoy having her around. We’ve had great kids who are crafty, creative and consistent. But this kid can score.” Schilling, who played varsity as a freshman last year, is moving from rightside to outside hitter. She admitted being a little nervous at the onset, but said she settled in as the match progressed.   “It’s a little easier this year,” she said. “I think I got a lot stronger from last year, I still need to work on my strength. I hope I get keep getting better and stronger. We’re looking for big things this year. We want to keep getting better.”   Glenbard West has a mixture of young players like Schilling and sophomore setter/defensive specialist Kate Wagner, newcomers like St. Francis transfer Abbey Winkler and veterans like four-year starter Meg DeMaar.   Winkler had eight assists, two kills and two aces in her first varsity appearance and Wagner added five assists and a kill, but it’s DeMaar who hopes to provide the leadership after playing in the shadows of Northwestern freshman and Sun-Times All-Area selection Caleigh Ryan.    “We’re young,” said DeMaar, who had 15 digs, three assists and an ace. “We’re going to be working really hard this year. Last year we were able to play a lot more. This year we’ll have to watch more film and do a lot more technical stuff.   “This is my first time stepping into a leadership role,” she added. “So I really have kind of taken the reigns and hope I can lead the team this year.”   Katie Ball added six kills, 6-1 junior Patricia Stirb added two blocks and a kill and Caroline Jenkins had a pair of blocks for Glenbard West.   Mary Kate Katarzynski led West Chicago with six assists, a kill and an ace. Devan Orr added five kills and two aces and Karissa Chernick had three kills.   “I’m absolutely not disappointed,” West Chicago coach Kris Hasty said. “I thought we played with a lot of heart and got after it. I’m impressed. They’re (Glenbard West) offensively a little bigger than we are, but I thought we fought pretty hard.   “So good things to see tonight,” the coach added. “I thought Kelsey Windisch came in and swung pretty well. Our middles just have to learn their positions with their height disadvantage. As a team, I think we’re working really well together.”

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