For the Metea Valley volleyball team, it was another step in the right direction.
For West Aurora? Not so much.
The Mustangs got back above the .500 mark Tuesday, beating the Blackhawks 25-22, 25-14 to climb to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in the Upstate Eight Valley. West Aurora fell to 3-12 and 1-2.
“It’s been a rough, slow start,” Mustangs’ fourth-year varsity regular Lexi Lobdell said.
“We have a lot of young players and just four seniors but as the season has progressed, we’ve clicked with the (new) setters and gotten a lot better.
“Everyone’s been meshing a lot better and our team chemistry is improved.”
Lobdell, a 6-0 outside hitter, and 6-0 freshman Mikalia Dowd led the way for Metea Valley with eight and seven kills respectively.
The first game was a see-saw affair with the Mustangs finally building a 20-14 advantage, only to have the visitors close with an 8-5 run that came up short.
“I think we played really good the first game and had the advantage for a stretch there but then in the second game, we couldn’t get anything started from the beginning,” West Aurora coach Kari Nicholson-Rigaud said.
The Blackhawks pulled within 23-22 in the opener on a Mallory Jones ace but Lobdell answered with a back row kill off a set from senior
setter Colleen Shanahan.
Autumn Hagemaster made it happen, saving a ball that crawled over the net and almost dropped to the floor before she passed it to Shanahan.
Junior libero Autumn Long then closed it out with an ace.
The second game was lopsided from the start as Metea Valley widened a 3-1 lead with a six-point service run from defensive specialist
Danielle Schmitt. Seven West Aurora mistakes helped lead to seven of the Mustangs’ first 10 points in the second game.
“Their mistakes killed them and we capitalized better,” Metea Valley coach Dave MacDonald said. “Usually, for us this year it’s been the
other way around. We’ve been the ones making mistakes and kind of digging ourselves a hole and always having to fight back.
“Part of it has been the competition, too. You play St. Charles East, Naperville North and Neuqua Valley right off the bat and add St.
Ignatius in our tournament and it was tough. I think we’re starting to figure it out a little bit.”
Dowd added five digs for the winners, who got 11 assists from sophomore setter Miranda Cada and nine from Colleen Shanahan.
Lucy Currie led West Aurora with six kills and seven digs, Jones had five kills, five digs and a block, Kayla Battle a pair of blocks and
Grace Van Dorn 12 assists.