The night for the Knights did not start off as planned. As both teams were ready to start the match the scores table did not have the CD for the national anthem. The pledge of allegiance was played in replace of it.
However the ending of it, did go as hoped as the girls’ volleyball program swept the mustangs of Rolling Meadows Thursday, Oct. 2.
Game one started off strong for the team as they jumped out to a 13-7 lead before Meadows needed to burn a timeout. After a Mustang 3-0 run to trim the lead down to 6, head coach Gabrielle Lovin decided to change the mentality on the court with one phrase shouted out.
“Lots of energy Brenda. Lets go!” Lovin said.
Referring to junior middle Brenda Kendziera (3 kills, 3 digs), who had stepped up as middle for the game due to the injury to senior Cat Sherwood, Lovin relied on Kendziera’s new role to help lead the team and finish the game strong.
“She’s our swiss army knife,” Lovin said. “She’s been the big asset for us with injuries and illnesses. She’s been very helpful to say the least.”
The Knights never glanced in the rear view mirror and finished the game winning 25-20.
Game 2 was a rollercoaster of events as the Knights jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, but let is slip away easily falling back down 12-11.
“We got too high and too confident,” Lovin said. “We just need to maintain that focus of mental toughness.”
Wanting to finish the Mustangs in two games, the Knights pulled ahead 19-12 with an 8-0 run. Junior outside hitter Sammy Withey’s ace then put the team up 21-14.
Withey (3 kills, 2 aces, 4 digs) is a new addition to the team and proved effective Thursday night with
“[Withey is] a very good addition to the team,” Kendziera said. “Her hits are very powerful.”
After being pulled up to varsity for the previous weekend, Lovin saw some impressive skills in Withey.
“Her serve is very impressive and I think the rest of the team understands that,” Lovin said.
Even without a leader like Sherwood in the match the pace of both games was very much so controlled by the Knights. But Lovin still sees room for improvement when beating a team.
“When we have the lead, [we need to] keep that lead, and build a bigger lead,” Lovin said.