Gary Larsen’s volleyball notes: Huntley has outside shot with Erin Erb

SHARE Gary Larsen’s volleyball notes: Huntley has outside shot with Erin Erb

Huntley junior Erin Erb has a quality that Red Raiders coach Karen Naymola appreciates beyond all others. Call it aggression under pressure.

“When the game is close it’s a relief for me when she’s back there at the serving line because she’s got an extremely aggressive serve,” Naymola said.

“And offensively, whenever the game is on the line, she’s not afraid to keep swinging aggressively. She’s one of the most aggressive players I’ve coached.”

Erb has simply learned to be unafraid in a game’s big moment.

“Volleyball is a game of mistakes. Things are going to happen,” Erb said. “But you can’t back down when the game’s on the line because you’re nervous. That’s when you have to focus and do what you do best.”

Erb is a third-year varsity player at Huntley and moved from the middle to the outside this season. She’s an outside hitter on her club team so the transition has gone smoothly.

Erb leads Huntley (8-3) with 122 kills, including 18 kills in a match against Crystal Lake Central on Sept. 11. She was happy to play middle for her first two varsity seasons but Erb loves life on the outside.

“With the middle it’s a lot faster movement, and you have to be strategic with it. I like the outside because I have more power out there,” she said.

Erb is also a team captain, which is not all that common for a junior.

“I remember how the upperclassmen can pick on you as a freshman and that wasn’t fun,” Erb said. “So I’ve tried to encourage the sophomores and freshmen. I know how scary high school can be for those players.”

Maroons’ best in years

With a 10-10 record, Elgin has its most wins since the 1996 team that won a regional title. Coach Scott Stewart points his finger squarely in one direction in accounting for the success.

“We have ten seniors,” Stewart said.

Elgin’s veterans helped the team to two, three-game wins in matches against West Chicago and Bartlett last week. Setter Tiana Palumbo and outside hitter Abby Pierre-Louis helped key Elgin’s 15-25, 27-25, 25-19 win over Bartlett on Sept. 18.

“That was a big game for us,” Stewart said. “We didn’t play well in the first game and started slow in the second game. We called a timeout and they came out fired up after that.

“I just let them know that we’ve been down before. I’ve never had a team that came from behind as many times as this team has this season.”

North working on Stars

One of the chief differences in Geneva’s 21-25, 25-13, 25-14 win over St. Charles North was reactions in the face of adversity.

Despite losing the Game 1, Geneva stormed back from a 20-9 deficit and rode that momentum to wins in the next two games.

North couldn’t dig itself out of a similar hole in Game 2, and coach Lindsey Hawkins hopes that ability will come with seasoning.

“We’re young and there’s a lot of people playing new positions, so that doesn’t help when you get into a tight game when the pressure is on,” Hawkins said.

“We’ve tried to calm them down in timeouts, tell them to take a deep breath, and remind them that they know how to do the things they need to do”

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