Hannah Farley, Sarah Hua-Pham behind Maine East’s strong start

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DES PLAINES — Maine East seniors Hannah Farley and Sarah Hua-Pham have one of those hard to explain connections on the volleyball court.

“They can look at each other and know what to run,” Maine East coach Anne Bezek said. “Something just clicks, and it’s amazing to watch.”

It happened Monday in the Blue Demons’ 26-24, 25-13 win over Maine West in the CSL North opener. Early in the second game, Hua-Pham assisted Farley, an outside hitter, for three kills to help Maine East to a 6-1 lead. The Warriors never got closer than four the rest of the way.

“I know where she’s going to be, and she knows where I am going to be,” said Hua-Pham, the team’s setter. “We have that chemistry.”

Farley and Hua-Pham, who were both all-conference selections last season, live within walking distance of one another in Niles and have played volleyball together since their days at Nelson School. They’ve been varsity teammates at Maine East all four years.

“We’re best friends,” Farley said. “We do everything together, and I think that helps us play volleyball.

Farley, the Blue Demons’ leading hitter, finished with a team-best six kills Monday. Hua-Pham had 16 assists.

“She knows how I like my sets, a certain height, how far out,” Farley said. “That’s what’s so good about her.”

At 6-0 through Monday’s victory, Maine East is off to its best start in four seasons with the two veterans. Bezek said she’s thrilled for the two to experience some success, even if it still is early.

“They’ve been through some rough patches with the team, so this is perfect to see,” Bezek said. “It’s happening at the right time for them.”

Maine East’s Sarah Hua-Pham (4) sets the ball Monday against Maine West. | Nic Summers/for Sun-Times Media

Maine East’s Sarah Hua-Pham (4) sets the ball Monday against Maine West. | Nic Summers/for Sun-Times Media

Bezek said Farley and Hua-Pham also lead the Blue Demons off the court. Because she spends part of her day as a teacher at Maine West, Bezek said the two often aid her in administrative tasks such as hanging flyers around Maine East for the team’s Oct. 7 fundraiser match at home against Maine West. The also make sure food is brought to away games.

“They do so much for me, helping me with a lot of little things,” Bezek said.

Back on the court, the Blue Demons look to continue their undefeated start Thursday at home against Niles North. Maine East, which last won a regional title in 2004, then hosts its own tournament Friday and Saturday.

“This season has been so great,” Farley said. “There is so much more in store for us.”

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