Girls volleyball: Hinsdale Central hands Glenbard W. 1st WSS loss
For Senior Night, Hinsdale Central seniors Lauren Borhani, Caitlin Barrett and Mia Brent donned giant sombreros before their volleyball match as leaders of the Fiesta Squad theme.
There was plenty to celebrate on the court as well.
The Red Devils often were en fuego when it mattered and defeated Glenbard West 25-23, 25-22 in West Suburban Conference Silver action in Hinsdale.
"This is a really, really big victory, not just because they're a very good team but also because I feel like we really came together and played with a lot of energy, which is something we've been trying to do," said Borhani, whose team-high 11 kills and 16 digs were integral to the Red Devils (15-8, 3-1 in Silver) feeling very happy. "It was really nice to see it all come together and work really well."
Freshman libero Ava Young (13 digs) also fueled the Red Devils' great defensive effort. Other key contributors included Barrett (seven kills), Kaitlyn Thick (six kills), India Jones Shah (five kills), and setters Amber Pelton (19 assists, two aces, 10 service points) and Alexa Knapp (10 assists). Sophomores Avery Herbert (eight kills) and Marin Johnson (six kills), Meghan Pihlstrom and Makayla Webber (four kills each), Demi Carpio (13 digs), and Haydon Green (17 assists, eight service points) led the Hilltoppers (18-6, 2-1).
Lyons Township remains the lone undefeated team in Silver play.
"We wanted to make our seniors happy but since it's a conference match we want to play good not just for our seniors but for the team," Young said.
Borhani had just one attack error. Her final kill came from the back row helped immensely after the Hilltoppers closed a 17-11 deficit to 21-18. Glenbard West threatened again at 23-21 but kills from Erika Kalman and Thick delivered the final two points.
"(Borhani is) really good. That's by far one of the best matches she's played but that's what I've been pumping her for all year," Hinsdale Central coach Lisa Tazelaar said. "Not big, not flashy but just is everywhere and gets the job done. She's a true captain to this group. They love her. They respect her. When she said yesterday (at practice), I really want to win tomorrow,' I think that meant a lot to the girls."
Young and Tazelaar agreed this was among the most satisfying victories along with beating Wheaton Warrenville South in three sets in August at the Plainfield North Invite. The Red Devils won that match without Borhani. On Tuesday they were missing full-time starter and key hitter Elizabeth Sessa (illness) and part-time starter Alice Joergenrud (ankle).
"I told them that's what makes them special. They fill in the pieces," Tazelaar said. "We have been going three (sets) so much this year. This is the first game that I felt like we battled and went back-and forth and finished in two so that's a big step for us. We've had these moments where we've had these big points. We chicken out at the end where tonight we played big. We didn't seem scared."
The Red Devils jumped to an 8-2 lead but then prevailed by pulling out many of the long rallies. Trailing 21-18, Hinsdale Central eventually scored the last four points of the first set on a kill by Kalman for sideout to close to 23-22. Pelton then served three points with an ace and kills from Jones Shah and Barrett.
"(Hinsdale Central) played their hearts out and we just never had it. Anything we did to try and shake them up, Hinsdale Central responded," Glenbard West coach Peter Mastandrea. "They were a very good opponent. They played great defense and we fell short, not by much. We know we can play better and I'm sure they can too. They played great."
What will Borhani do with her new sombrero?
"I'm going to wear it to school, maybe sport it at Homecoming (this weekend). We'll see," Borhani joked. "I think Senior Night made us all really energetic. I feel like a lot of the players were really going out of their way to help us celebrate, which was really nice. Everyone was being really selfless. I'm not sure Senior Night made much of a difference because we always play with a good sense of togetherness."