Volleyball earns set against relentless Trevian attack

Alexis Rogers and Eva Sondgeroth

Girls volleyball fought tooth and nail to sour New Trier’s senior night, but ultimately came up a bit short.

In a match that went to a conclusive third set, the Trevians wore the Kits down, winning 25-14, 27-29, 25-13.

The initial outlook of the game seemed bleak– the Trevians took an early lead in the first set that did not let up until its eventual 25-14 end. New Trier’s blocks proved fatal for the Kits, as they struggled with spacing and movement on their side of the court.

However, after their brief break, the Kits returned with a distinctly different attitude.

“We realized that it wasn’t necessarily what they were doing that was causing us to mess up. It was more of our own things that are messing us up, our inability to move on, inability to realize where we were on the court,” says coach Paris McFall. “We decided to make a change mentally.”

The second set immediately began with longer games full of movement and digs. Evanston took an early lead that persisted until New Trier began tying up the score. From point 10 to the end of the set, domination oscillated with the serve.

Off a serve from senior Meg Houseworth, the Kits brought an end to the extended set, one that lasted four points past the typical limit of 25.

Unfortunately, their momentum didn’t carry through to the final set, where New Trier caught the wave of improvement seen in the Kits between the first and second and won a series of hard-fought points to take the win.

Communication and mental fortitude were focuses for ETHS as the team integrated a new rotation into its strategy.

“This game was a little tough, because we tried a new rotation, but I think the more we practice, the better we’ll be,” senior Claire Henthorn says. 

“I thought this was actually one of our better passing games,” says McFall, “and I thought girls made really good defensive plays around the whole match.”

Throughout the game, players honed in on their skills to produce exceptional gameplay that demonstrated their determination to prove themselves against the Trevians. Several athletes stood out among the team, though. 

Henthorn delivered consistently strong volleys, a highlight being three winning serves in the second set that propelled the Kits to take the 23-20 lead. 

“I was trying to keep my energy up the whole game, and those serves gave me a lot of adrenaline to motivate the rest of the team,” she stated.

“From the first contact standpoint, from the serve, receive, and defensive standpoints, I think [Claire] was a rock today, and she has been all season,” says McFall.

Senior Sophie Lechleitner started the Kits off strong with six straight serves in the top of the second set, starting the team off strong with the lead. Her dependable presence as a talented outside hitter won the Kits many points.

Though the team took a loss, the improvement from Sept. 14’s 2-0 match against the Trevians proved the team’s willingness to improve their physical and mental skills.

“In volleyball, the best teams are the ones that are the most talkative,” says McFall. “In any sport, really, the moment you go quiet, the other team’s living in your head.”

“If there’s no energy on the court but there’s energy on the bench, that can really influence the players to pick up and get going,” Henthorn states. “It is never fun to lose to [New Trier]. But I think it will help us motivate ourselves.”