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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Despite tight second set, girls volleyball overpowered by Maine South

Evanston Township High School lose first conference match of year, extend home losing streak to four.

Girls volleyball tackled its first conference game of the season against Maine South in a nail-biter Tuesday night. The game’s first set started off with the Kits playing catch-up, but the team was able to finish the second set in close range, unfortunately losing both sets, 11-25 and 22-25, to the Hawks. 

As the Kits ended the 2022 season with zero conference wins, this contest posed the first opportunity to buck that trend, facing a Hawks squad that finished ninth in conference last season while Evanston finished 12th.

The first set started off strong with a kill by junior Sarah Skey. But after the initial point by Skey, the Hawks managed to take a seven-point lead on the Wildkits, making the score 9-2. The Kits trailed behind the rest of the set, eventually falling, 25-11.

“We weren’t not really focused mentally when we came in [to the first set],” head coach Paris McFall states. “We have to get better at being uncomfortable. We just need to be more mentally engaged, mentally locked in and be ready to compete every single match. Not just for a couple of rallies, but for the whole match.” 

As the Kits headed into the second set, there was a noticeable change in their performance and confidence on the court. Skey started the set by serving and the Kits managed to earn two points by mistakes on the Hawks behalf.

“Going into the second set, we started getting in some good passes, and we grew into our strategy throughout the game,” Skey says. “We started choosing to take shots instead of just hitting the ball. Overall, in the second set, the team came out with more energy and began supporting each other more. We were less frantic and became more comfortable with our playing.”

Through this change in tactic, Evanston kept Maine South on their toes for the second set, as  the lead alternated  between the Hawks and Kits, never widening more than a point or two. Senior captain Margot Van Nice and junior Kylie O’Connor were able to bring the energy and score points for the Kits.

“[Van Nice] came back from injury, and this was the first time that she actually played [this season]. She brought the energy, which she always does,” McFall comments, “O’Connor, who has been one of our more stable hitters, is one of our best, most consistent players mostly because she doesn’t overthink, she just reacts.”

These two players were able to lead their team through a closer second set, taking a lead on Maine South towards the end of the set, 21-20. Unfortunately, the Hawks stole that lead from the Kits and finish the set, 22-25. 

“Going into the next game, we hope to score a few initial points and gain some confidence,” Skey emphasizes. “As a team, we plan on improving on our defense, specifically service, so that our offense can score more points, and hopefully win our first conference game.”.

Evanston takes on their second conference game of the season against Glenbrook North away on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 6:00 p.m..

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About the Contributor
Fiona Vosper, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Fiona Vosper (she/her). I am a sophomore and I mainly write for the sports and opinion sections. I have been writing for The Evanstonian since my freshman year and love contributing to this amazing community of writers. The Evanstonian has strengthened my passion for writing and has also opened my eyes to many different perspectives within Evanston and beyond. Outside of The Evanstonian, I am also a varsity cross-country runner and soccer player. Additionally, I am a facilitator for the EMERGE Initiative club. In my free time, I love to explore bookstores and go on long runs by the beach.
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