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Girls volleyball: Knights run the floor in win over Spartans

SYCAMORE – The Kaneland volleyball team continued to roll, winning their third match in a row and their ninth out of their past 10 as they beat Sycamore, 25-16, 25-21.

The Knights (12-4, 2-0 Northern Illinois Big 12) were all over the floor. Libero Julianna Vassallo gave praise to coach Cynthia Violett’s practice plans.

“Normally, we do a bunch of drills in practice where we have to pick up anything,” Vassallo said. “Wherever coach throws it, even if it is out, we have to go for it and sacrifice your body for your team. Our team knows once we hit a ball and it goes flying, everyone moves toward that ball so we can get it up and get another kill.”

Violett said that one of the things her team has to clean up is their service.

“We had a lot of missed serves,” Violett said. “Our serves were horrible. Our serve receive was good until the last few points, though. For some reason, they said their float serves were hanging out instead of dropping out.”

Sycamore (6-5, 1-1 Northern Illinois Big 12) had its moments, especially in the second game. After climbing back into the game with four unanswered points to make it a 23-21 deficit late, the Knights took a timeout to slow the pace down and make adjustments for coach Jennifer Charles’ plan of attack.

“Game 1, we just came out very flat,” Charles said. “The second set, we were clumping points with them. We weren’t letting them get into these long four-point rallies with us. Our hitting selection was good, but when it gets down to crunch time, we have to understand who to go to; who has been putting up the most points for us at the end. That’s going to be a lesson for both of our setters.”

Outside hitter Kylie Feuerbach also pointed to clumping points as a catalyst.

“Kaneland definitely had some big plays at some big moments and consistently clumped their points to stay ahead,” Feuerbach said. “It made our team as a whole want to get the next point and be competitive throughout for sure.”

By the numbers: Kaneland went on two miniruns, or clumps, in Game 1 of 8-4 and 10-6.

Beyond the stats: The Knights made the play of the night off a rocketed spike from Sycamore’s Faith Reynolds. After a deflection that took the ball into the Knights’ bench, a Kaneland player went into the bench, kept the ball in play and eventually, the Knights ended up winning the point.

They said it: “I think we need to work on serve receive, getting the ball up and blocking a lot more,” Sycamore sophomore Mallory Larson said.

Up next: The Spartans will host Yorkville at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Knights will host Morris at 6 p.m. Tuesday. It is not yet known if the game will be played at Kaneland High School or Harter Middle School.

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