Someone just had to stop the bleeding, and Huntley was on its way.
Dundee-Crown ran out to a 5-0 lead Thursday over host Huntley before the Red Raiders earned a sideout and joined the party. Huntley scored the next five points to set up a see-saw affair in Game 1.
Huntley ultimately won 25-22 and then rolled to a 25-11 win in Game 2 of the Fox Valley Valley match.
“We knew we had to have a better start in the second set and we did,” Huntley hitter Erin Erb said. “It was good to keep our energy up to help us out.
“(Dundee-Crown) definitely plays smart with the ball. Their setter, Frankie (Cavallaro), is an amazing player and that was one thing we had to worry about, but we did an amazing job all-around.”
Dundee-Crown senior hitter Kiana Mays couldn’t have had a more opposite assessment of the way her side played.
“We had a rough practice and that kind of led into this,” Mays said. “Typically we’re better than that. If we step up our play, we can definitely beat them. It’s just disappointing.”
The teams were tied 20-20 in Game 1 before Erb’s ace set up two mistakes from Dundee-Crown that sealed its fate down he stretch.
Huntley (8-3, 2-1) built an 11-5 lead in Game 2 and Dundee-Crown (11-5, 1-2) never got closer than five points to the Red Raiders the rest of the way.
Huntley coach Karen Naymola was pleased to see her girls snap out of their first-game doldrums and find a head of steam that carried them to victory.
“Dundee-Crown came out with a lot of energy and we had to find a way to get back the momentum,” Naymola said. “Haley Arnieri came in with a phenomenal pass and a beautiful dig and that got us going. Someone had to step up, and she did.”
Erb led all players with 11 kills, Sydney Holt had three kills and three blocks, and Alyson Dion had seven kills. Arnieri finished with nine digs, while Kelsey DeWulf had 17 assists for Huntley.
Dundee-Crown coach Christine Hopkins-Muehl saw a disjointed effort from her team.
The Chargers got six digs from Gina Pagano, five kills apiece from Bre Novak and Kailey Moll, and 14 assists from Cavallaro.
“We made too many mistakes with easy things — serving, not communicating, and basic skills that we’ve worked on all year,” she said. “We couldn’t seem to mesh together in either game.”