Wolves dig deeper : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Wolves dig deeper|
|Oswego volleyball rallies to win Game 2, but Oswego East prevails behind Bertrand's strong finish|
|by Kristin Sharp|
Despite a Game 2 rally by the Oswego girls' volleyball team, Oswego East maintained its place near the top of the Southwest Prairie Conference standings on Tuesday.
The Wolves (11-11, 7-2) played host to the Panthers in the annual Volley for a Cure event and clinched a 25-19, 18-25, 25-14 victory to remain in second place behind Plainfield North in league play.
"They changed stuff around from the first time we saw them. They [put some girls in different positions. I looked at their scores and I told the girls they've gotten better, so be ready for them," Oswego East head coach Adam Thurlwell said. "They went on a 12-point run, but we went on a run in the third game. I told the ladies, 'Crank it all the way up.' We all night played at maybe 85 percent for us. We just never got there. ... Hopefully that's a lesson they learned tonight. "
Oswego (10-13, 3-6 SPC) used a 6-0 midway through Game 2 to help spark a tiebreak game and avoid another two-game sweep by Oswego East like their first meeting played out on Sept. 6.
"The first time we played them, Oswego East definitely out-played us," Oswego head coach Erica Lorenz said. "This time, we definitely were more at the same level. Going three games is better than losing in two. The second game was good; I just wish they kept that momentum from the second game into the third."
In Game 3, Oswego East took an early 5-3 lead on a kill by senior Nicole Burge, but Oswego remained on pace, trailing 7-6 before committing a net violation that sent Oswego East sophomore Kelly Bertrand to the service line.
The outside hitter aced her first three serves to extend Oswego East's lead, 11-6, and prompted Lorenz to call her first time out of the game.
Bertrand finished with a match-best 12 kills.
"Kelly, just last weekend, tied our single match record of 16 kills in a game. The sky's the limit for that kid," Thurlwell said. "Kelly is not a captain but really is a captain. She really puts the team on her shoulders at times and she's always positive. She played 75 percent of her season as a freshman (on varsity), so she's got that experience. She's so versatile as a hitter; Kelly's great."
The Wolves eventually led 12-6 before committing an error, and Oswego senior Jenny Greenwood scored two consecutive points for the Panthers to cut Oswego East's lead to four (14-10).
"When we played them last time it was a lot different; they definitely came out harder this time," Kelly Bertrand said. "We had to make sure the rankings in conference didn't matter if we played hard or played down to their level. We were second (place) and we had to play our game the whole time.
"It helped to start out strong and it brought the momentum for the rest of the game," Bertrand added.
After an Oswego serving error, Bertrand worked out of the left side and sent a kill over the net for a 16-10 lead. The Panthers were whistled for a serving error and a net violation to extend the Wolves' lead, 19-11, and two more Bertrand attacks led to a 21-11 lead for Oswego East.
Oswego added two more points on a pair of errors on Oswego East, but Oswego East senior Layne Hillesland sent an energetic attack over the net for a sideout and a 23-14 Wolves' lead.
The Panthers hit into the net for match point, and were whistled for four hits to close out the game, 25-14.
In Game 1, Oswego East senior Brittany Warnecke started out the night with the first kill of the match, but the game see-sawed with six tie scores through 12 points. Oswego East senior Nicole Bertrand aced her serve for a 15-12 Wolves' lead, and Kelly Bertrand and Warnecke had consecutive attacks for a 17-12 edge.
Oswego was able to pull within four (20-16), but could not catch up in the 25-19 loss for the Panthers.
The second game was another close battle early, and while Oswego East broke an early tie to lead 8-4, Oswego stayed within striking distance. A kill by Kelly Bertrand and an ace serve from sophomore libero Hailey Aguilar led to the Wolves' largest lead of the match, 12-7. Kelly Bertrand's next attack stretched Oswego East's lead to six (14-8).
The Panthers earned a much-needed sideout and turned a 16-9 deficit into an 18-17 lead behind the strong serving of junior libero Emily Prystash and a well-placed tip kill by Greenwood before junior Sarah Frantik's tip gave the Panthers the lead.
"It creeps up really quickly, but when the score is 15-11, there's still a lot of game to be played. We just have to be mentally tough and know they can still win the game," Lorenz said. "That's what happened in the second game."
Following an Oswego East timeout, Greenwood aced her serve for a 19-17 lead and the Wolves committed five errors down the stretch for the 25-18 Oswego win, sending the match into Game 3.
For Oswego East, Aguilar finished with 17 digs while Kelly Bertrand had 13 digs on the night. Warnecke finished with six kills while Nicole Bertrand had 13 assists.
"Haley has worked real hard," Thurlwell said. "She came in as a freshman and was a setter. She played club in the offseason as a libero. She's a quiet leader. She's growing leaps and bounds and she is a hard, hard worker."
Oswego East will look to withstand a tough stretch of SPC matches ahead, beginning today, Thursday, with a home match against Plainfield East at 5:30 p.m. before traveling to Minooka (Tuesday) and Romeoville (Oct. 11). Plainfield South (Oct. 16) and SPC leader Plainfield North (Oct. 18) close out the regular season.
"We have some big matches ahead of us," Thurlwell said. "We have won four of our last six. We're playing well. We started the season 1-6."
Oswego was led by Greenwood's eight kills, three aces and eight digs. Frantik had five kills, freshman Kayelyn Burke had five kills and Prystash made 12 digs for the Panthers.
Oswego will look to return to the win column when the Panthers host Minooka today, Thursday, at 5:30 p.m. Oswego will host Plainfield East on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in SPC action.
Oswego East Notes: Last Thursday, Oswego East defeated Plainfield Central 17-25, 25-20, 25-19. Kelly Bertrand had nine kills and three aces while Warnecke had seven kills and three aces. Junior Julianna Wadsworth made 12 assists while Nicole Bertrand had nine assists. Senior Yari Martinez made 18 digs and Aguilar had 11.
Last Saturday, Oswego East placed fourth in the Schwartzwalder Classic at IMSA, going 3-2 on the day. The Wolves defeated Romeoville 25-15, 25-27, 15-6 and defeated Freeport Aquin 25-17, 25-17 before earning a 25-15, 25-22 win over Mt. Assisi.
The Wolves lost to Wheaton Academy 25-13, 16-26, 23-25 and fell to Plainfield East 19-25, 22-25. Bertrand had 54 kills over the five matches while Burge had four blocks. Senior Allison Cadena made 13 ace serves, Wadsworth had 34 assists and Aguilar had 55 digs.
Oswego Notes: Oswego hosted Romeoville last Thursday and won 25-16, 25-19. Greenwood had two blocks and nine digs, Burke had six kills, four aces and seven assists and junior Jessica Johnson had three kills, five digs and nine assists. Sophomore Jordan Campbell added three kills and a pair of blocks in the win.