Naperville North battles back to top Naperville Central

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Any time Naperville Central and Naperville North go head-to-head in girls volleyball, it tends to feel as if the match will go three games.

The way that Naperville North was able to win the DuPage Valley Conference battle in two games Tuesday was through composure and balance.

The Huskies won the first game 25-12, but fell behind early in the second 13-7.

But a rally in the middle of the game brought North back into it and a five-point run late helped the Huskies pull out a 25-22 win.

“We knew Central was a good team coming in, but they can be streaky at times,” North coach Jen Urban said. “It was good to see our girls hold their composure and focus on our side of the net and play good side-out volleyball. We got a run back there midway through the second game and were able to tie it at 18 and push ahead.”

In the first game, Central (8-8, 1-1) struggled with a different alignment and had issues with substitutions. North (9-6, 2-0) took advantage. A 10-1 run helped the Huskies cruise to the 25-12 win.

“We were all out of system,” Central coach Jeff Danbom said. “It was tough to get into any rhythm. Second set, I like how we battled. We got up 19-18 and got complacent, gave up five straight points. I did like our energy, though. We came out swinging.”

Central junior Samantha Herron helped keep the Redhawks alive with a match-high 12 kills. But the Huskies had a trio of hitters for setter Emily Kwak to work with. Kwak dished out 22 assists, with middle hitter Megan Wernette doing the most damage with nine kills, including one for the final point of the match.

“I’m lucky,” Wernette said. “Kwak and I have been playing together for close to four years now. We really connect well, and I know that our back row diggers are working really hard to get her a good pass. It all comes together nicely in the end.”

Middle hitter Caitlin Miller (seven kills) and outside hitter Jenna LaCorte (six kills and 12 digs) were also recipients of Kwak passes.

“We’re always looking for three hitters scoring for us in a match,” Urban said. “Those three girls really came to play and kept us going. Our middle was great today. Emily is very comfortable setting them when she’s in system, and even when she’s a little bit out of system. They helped us tremendously tonight.”

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