Girls volleyball: Huntley sweeps Dundee-Crown, continues perfect season
Huntley senior setter Maggie Duyos is all about volleyball.
"Some people have long days at school, but when you step into the gym, it's time for volleyball," said Duyos, a four-year varsity player and Austin Peay commit.
"I think that's something this team does really well. Even if we have drama or anything little happens, we leave it outside the door and we come ready to play. I think that's how we keep up the intensity."
Huntley's approach has certainly paid off.
The Red Raiders, a Class 4A supersectional qualifier last year, continued their perfect start to the season Thursday with a 25-19, 25-16 sweep against Dundee-Crown in their Fox Valley Conference match.
Huntley (8-0, 8-0 FVC) has yet to drop a set, with its closest call on Tuesday in a 27-25, 25-16 win over Hampshire. The Raiders, who start four NCAA Division I commits, are used to seeing other team's best every match and have been up to the challenge so far.
"We go super hard in practice, and it's starting to pay off in games," said Avary DeBlieck, a Miami (Fla.) commit who tallied four kills Thursday. "That's really exciting to see. I feel like our team has such a good connection on the court, and we're all there to support each other."
Junior Morgan Jones, an Indiana commit, led the team with seven kills. Duyos posted 15 assists, 12 digs and three kills, and Ally Panzloff (Brown University) had three kills, three blocks and two aces. Luma Acevedo added nine digs and Georgia Watson had three kills and two aces.
The Raiders never trailed in the first set and went ahead 8-2 on DeBlieck's first kill of the match. D-C (9-5, 5-3) stayed close, cutting Huntley's lead to 15-13 on consecutive blocks by sophomore Coley DiSilvio, but couldn't get any closer. Watson fired back-to-back aces near the end of the first set to halt any momentum for the Chargers.
In the second set, Huntley used a 10-1 run after the teams were tied at 4-all to pull away and keep their perfect record.
"Obviously we have a lot of threats, [Duyos] being one of them," Raiders coach Karen Naymola said. "We're fortunate enough that our setter is a huge part of our offense. We were trying to mix it up and give other people the ball. Our outsides are very reliable, and they can put any ball away, but I thought Dundee-Crown's defense did a good job of cheating out to them.
"We mixed it up and forced the ball to our middles and right sides, and they did a fantastic job of putting the ball away for us."
Dundee-Crown was led by Audrey Prusko with four kills and Kylie Hanson with three. Courtney Komperda had eight assists, and Sydney Komperda had five digs.
Despite Thursday's loss, the Chargers are having one of their best seasons in a long time. D-C already has more wins than it had all of last season, starting 5-1 in FVC play before losses to Prairie Ridge and Huntley.
Dundee-Crown coach Tiffany Dumas said her team was excited for the challenge of facing Huntley.
"We just went out there and said, 'Let's have fun, let's press as much as we can and use every opportunity to get them out of system if we can,' " Dumas said. "And yeah, we did make some dumb errors, but I think that a majority of the first game, we got them out of system. We shocked them probably with more blocks than they've seen."
The Raiders will next turn their focus to Crystal Lake South on Tuesday, which ends the first round of FVC matches.
"I think we've been really good at controlling our side of the court and staying focused," DeBlieck said. "Everyone is doing their responsibility, and that creates a lot of success."