Huntley falls short in title game

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Comeback volleyball works both ways.

Huntley benefited from the comeback Saturday, then eventually fell in the same circumstance against Rockford Boylan in the championship of the 29th annual Huntley Invitational, 25-12, 24-26, 23-25.

“We jumped out early in Game 2 and just kind of lost the momentum, had a couple mistakes in our serve receive, a couple hitting errors and were struggling to put the ball in,” Huntley coach Karen Liss said.

“And then the same thing with Game 3. I mean, against a team like Boylan you can’t afford to make two or three mistakes in a row. If you make a mistake, fine, but then you’ve got to find a way to sideout right away.”

After getting blown out in the first set, Boylan trailed 7-1 in the second set of the title matchup and drew back into it. But Huntley had match point at 24-22 before Boylan’s Alexis Varga came up with three kills in a four-point run to force the third set.

In the third set, Huntley got strong efforts from Emily Westermeyer and Erin Lyman on the attack and Rachel Shores in the back row and nearly staged its own comeback win. The Red Raiders trailed 15-9, stormed back and took a 22-21 lead on consecutive kills by Westermeyer and Erin Erb but two freebees left Boylan ahead again, then Varga’s kill and a quick set kill by Bryanna Weiskercher gave the Titans the title.

“Defensively, that’s the best we’ve looked all year,” Liss said of the first set and early second set. “Our defense looked amazing. They were scrappy, in good position, getting good reads on their setter.”

Huntley had 17 kills from Westermeyer in the title match and 33 for the day. Lyman, now healthy after a hand injury, had nine kills in the title match and 26 for the day. Shores had 21 digs in the finale and 76 digs on the day.

Huntley, now 17-7, had its own comeback just to make the finals and finished 4-1 on the day. The Red Raiders trailed 21-15 in the third set of a semifinal with Marian Central but won.

“You could see our potential,” Liss said.

Jacobs (14-12) finished 3-2 in the tourney and placed third in the gold division (7th overall) of the 16-team tourney. The Golden Eagles came back from a 15-9 second-set deficit of their finale against Glenbard North before winning 25-15, 26-24 on a kill by Kayla Fitzsimmons and ace by Allie Campbell.

“We’ve been talking about the hills we’ve been playing in, our hills of momentum,” coach Lisa Dwyer said. “We’re trying to be more consistent. That’s what happened at the end of the second set.”

Jacobs had lost 21-25, 25-19, 19-25 to Montini in the semifinals of gold division.

St. Edward went 2-3 and is 15-11 on the year. The Green Wave’s wins were 25-17, 25-23 over Round Lake and 25-15, 25-14 over Westminster Christian. Mallory Gross had 46 assists and 18 digs on the day for the Green Wave, while Katie Swanson made 32 kills and 37 digs and Shannon Igielski 28 kills.

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