Girls volleyball: Allaire shines in Viator's win at Libertyville

 
By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/18/2021 9:15 PM

All good, Ms. Allaire.

St. Viator senior outside hitter Lauren Allaire showed her powerful side in the first set and then displayed her serving chops -- 8 straight points, including 3 aces -- at the outset of the second set in the Lions' 26-24, 25-10 defeat of host Libertyville on Monday night.

 

"Everything. Lauren did everything well tonight," St. Viator coach Charlie Curtin said of his quad-captain. "Her serves were fantastic. She swung well. She was a difference-maker, no doubt.

"Lauren sure came ready to play," the coach added after his club improved to 29-4. "Lauren had a lot to do with us being able to keep Libertyville out of system in the second set."

The 5-foot-11 Allaire spoke afterward, too. But the last Lion she wanted to talk about was Lauren Allaire, who finished with a match-high 10 kills, 6 digs and 3 aces.

"Every player had a crucial role in our win tonight ... that's always the case with this team," said Allaire, a first-team All-Humble member who did not play in the teams' first meeting (a 3-set Libertyville triumph in the Prospect Tournament final) because of her college visit to the land of the Flyers, Dayton.

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Viator, a Class 3A school, soared to leads of 8-0, 11-1 and 19-3 in a frighteningly brisk second set against Libertyville, a 4A school, on Monday night.

The same two squads had played a taut first set, with Libertyville (21-13) securing a 12-6 lead, only to look up at a 12-12 knot on the scoreboard minutes later. Allaire (kill), senior setter Cailyn Harrington (ace) and junior middle Marcelina Gorny (kill) each went with an emphatic approach in notching the last 3 points of a 6-0 run.

No more than 1 point separated the crews until St. Viator earned a 22-20 advantage on a sharply angled kill from Allaire. Yet another Allaire kill made it 23-20, visitors.

Libertyville, three days after edging perennial power Hersey in a 3-set tourney match, tied it at 24 after trailing 24-21.

"The way we played in the first set -- that's the way we want to battle in the playoffs," Wildcats coach Greg Loika said. "St. Viator took it to another speed there in the second (set). We just couldn't match it. You can't allow a strong team like that to go on a 5- or 7-point run. We struggled with our passing, with our serve-receive. And Viator kept jamming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We'll shake this off."

Libertyville junior outside hitter Keira Kasten struck 3 of her 4 kills in the second set of the nonconference test. Wildcats Ashley Branford and Jamie Marquardt had 4 kills apiece. Senior libero Grace Comilla paced the hosts with 11 digs, and Wildcats junior defensive specialist Macy Schaffnit smacked a pair of aces in a 3-point stretch in the first set.

Viator senior outside hitter Marie Torosian ranked second among mates with 7 kills and contributed 5 digs. Harrington lofted 18 assists to go with 1 ace and 1 kill. Lions junior libero Reanne Valera also had 5 digs for the victors, and senior middle Lilly LaFleur (3 kills) hammered a kill on match point.

"We didn't play well in the first set," Curtin admitted. "But we showed a lot of heart, a lot of fight. We had to grind there, early, against a very good team.

"Going up against a team coached by Greg," he added, "is always a challenge."

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