By Caroline Binley
The Oct. 16 varsity girls’ volleyball game against Buffalo Grove was one defined by ties. Starting when the score hit 8-8 in the first game, the Knights fought the Bison to gain the upper-hand during every volley, but Buffalo Grove fought back just as hard.
The teams’ effort kept evening out, and the score ended up tied up over 25 times throughout the three games. For near every minute of the hour-and-a-half game, there was no way to tell who would take home a victory.
“You just never know which way it’s going to go,” junior outside hitter Sammy Withey said, “but we both fought for it, so it makes it kind of exciting to want the next point.”
After winning the first game 25-21 but losing the second match 23-25 and the third 26-28, the Knights didn’t finish the night with a win, but Withey is happy with the fight they put up, and head coach Gabrielle Lovin was equally thrilled by the progress the team has made since their last match against Buffalo Grove.
Last time the Knights and Bison clashed, Buffalo Grove won in only two games.
This time around, however, there was a well-matched battle over every point, and even when Buffalo Grove started to lead in the third game, the Knights rebounded and tied the score on every point from 22-22 to 26-26.
“This team never gives up, and we fight for every single point,” Lovin said. ”You don’t get that from every team.”
Senior right side hitter Carolyn Sherrick helped contribute to that fight with her serving, and sophomore outside hitter Kaeli Meyers, who just came back after a shoulder injury, and Withey helped out with a combined total of 17 kills.
“[Playing so well] feels good,” Withey said. “Especially coming from sophomore last year and then JV, it’s nice to know I can play up with these people.”
Though the team finished fourth in the Mid-Suburban League East as a result of the Buffalo Grove match, they still have a crossover match between the East and West divisions of the MSL to play, the Lyons Township Invite to attend and regionals to compete in.
Withey wants the team keep getting better and work well together, but this game wasn’t just about looking ahead. It was also about looking up to the team’s seniors.
For senior night, the team honored their seniors – Sherrick, middle Catherine Sherwood, libero Sarah Cutaia, defensive specialist Rachel Grippo and outside hitter Maddie Mantych – with flowers, and the seniors’ parents walked with them at the beginning of the game.
“They have given me so much more than I’ve given them,” Lovin said. “The five seniors have been absolutely phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for a better group of five girls to send off and become adults. This team is everything to me, and I enjoy every moment of coaching.”