Girls volleyball: Barrington downs Palatine to reach MSL title match
Thanks to their coach Michelle Jakubowski, the choice of reading for Barrington's girls volleyball players this summer was Jon Gordon's 'The Positive Dog'.
"All of us read it over the summer," said Fillies senior defensive specialist Lauren Carder. "Coach gave it to us in the preseason to learn lessons and morals about how to be positive, how to be a good person and good teammate."
Sure enough, the Fillies were barking up a storm all season in Mid-Suburban West play.
After Thursday's 25-17, 25-17 win at Palatine, they finished at 9-1 to earn the co-championship with defending champion Fremd (also 9-1),
Due to the tiebreaker (head- to-head sets with Fremd), Barrington (20-9) will represent the West in Wednesday's MSL title match at Buffalo Grove (20-10, 9-1).
Barrington will be making its 15th appearance in the title match and first since 2013.
"We're really excited" Jakubowski said. "We always talk about the process, getting 100 percent better every day. And if you believe in hard work, the positive result is going to happen."
It started to happen for the Fillies when the score was tied 15-15, not a uncommon scenario for the visitors.
"In practice we play out a lot of different scenarios and one is playing at 15-15," Jakubowski said. "We talk about just playing side out ball until 15-15, and then you push."
Which is exactly what the Fillies did.
After Bailey Madrzyk's side out kill, Carder served for 6 straight points for a 22-15 lead. The 21st point came on a nifty second attack by setter Tara Kozak (16 assists).
"I looked at the bench and saw all my friends and teammates cheering for me," said Carder, who finished with 12 service points and 2 aces. "And I thought, 'we deserve this and why not us.' "
An ace by Sabrian Loutos (3 assists) capped Set 1.
The Fillies got ahead 17-9 in Set 2 when senior libero Mia Ruffolo (8 points, 4 aces), a UConn recruit, served back-to back aces followed by a kill from Madrzyk (6 kills, 6 digs).
Peyton Tilly had 2 aces and led the Barrington attack with a match-high 11 kills while Paige Ramel added 4 kills and a block.
Other key performers were Ola Magiera (1 kill), Arianna Armando (3 digs, 1 ace 3 points) and Noelle Daehler (2 kills, 2 blocks).
Leading the attack for Palatine (18-10, 5-5) were Emily Campe (8 kills, 7 digs), Haley Holz (5 kills, 4 digs, 3 aces) and Sydney Wiebe (2 kills).
Allison Drake set the offense with 14 assists while Kelsey Bauer served 4 aces. Leading in digs were Jillian Smith (5) while Sarah Elischer and Karina Szafraniec each had a block.
"Barrington is a nice team," said Palatine coach Dan Gavin. "They went out with a sense of purpose and had their way with us.
"Collectively, we were not anywhere near the right mindset and that led to some mediocre play on the court."