Ehrhardt, Golden Eagles get even at invite

Now when Jacobs senior Alyssa Ehrhardt heads to the University of Toledo
next volleyball season she can at least bring up the subject of tournaments.
Not the part where she went three straight years at Jacobs without winning a single tourney. That streak ended Saturday afternoon when her Golden Eagles finished first at 28th annual Huntley Volleyball Invite. And it sure wasn’t easy.

Jacobs (25-6) stopped a good St. Ignatius club in the title match 25-20, 27-29, 25-22.

“We played them in our tournament and lost to them,’’ Ehrhardt said. “We wanted revenge on them. This was such a good team win.”

In the title match Ehrhardt had 19 kills. For the tournament, she registered 72 kills.

“That one big kill can really get a team going,’’ she said.

Jacobs wanted to put away St. Ignatius in two sets. The second set lead was an impressive 16-8. And then it slipped away.

The same situation nearly repeated in the decisive third set.

The Jacobs lead was 19-13 before Ignatius pulled within 23-21.

“Give them credit,’’ said Jacobs coach Lisa Dwyer. “That No. 8 [Camille Evans] is hard to stop.”

Golden Eagles’ senior Maris Smith had 10 kills and 14 digs. A third senior, Rachel Arceneaux added 6 kills. Libero Kassie Kasper led the defensive effort with 19 digs. Setters Taylor Lauder
(21 assists) and Mackenzie Traub (18 assists) ran the 6-2 offense.

Third place went to previously unbeaten Richmond-Burton, its 25-game winning streak is over. That came at the hands of St. Ignatius.

“The girls were disappointed,’’ said Richmond-Burton coach Kaycee Kaywood. “We made some mistakes. But maybe the cloud is finally off of us.”

In Saturday’s third-place game, neither Richmond-Burton (25-1) nor Huntley could get much momentum going. Richmond-Burton prevailed, 25-20, 27-25.

Delivering the match ending kill was senior Kim Russell. She finds an advantage being left-handed.

“Being on the right side, I can hit in two spots,’’ Russell said. “And that’s pretty good.”

Huntley never led but hung right in the match. But the Red Raiders had trouble defending against the hard serves of Ali Frantti and Kelsey Burlini.

“Our serve receive would break down,’’ said Huntley coach Karen Liss. “Overall, we played well. Our goal was to play consistently.”

The second set was close throughout. On a kill from Brittany Gundlach (6 kills), Huntley pulled to within 11-10.

Russell answered back for the Rockets.

“Last year, we came in eighth in this tournament,’’ Kaywood said. “And now we came back in third place.”

Both teams played well in pool play that started Friday. Huntley stopped Round Lake (25-19, 25-17), Harlem (25-17, 25-13) and Belvidere (25-18, 25-14). Richmond-Burton stopped Joliet Central (25-19, 25-17), Sycamore (25-22, 25-8) and Winnebago (25-12, 25-19).

Winner Jacobs had trouble with Johnsburg and finally prevailed in three sets, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17.

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