Jacobs volleyball tops Dundee-Crown

CARPENTERSVILLE - While Jacobs’ volleyball team regrouped between the second and third games against Dundee-Crown on Thursday, Mackie Traub kept thinking about the first. 

The senior setter had connected easily with her hitters, capitalizing on solid serve-receive from her back row and spreading the court to keep the Chargers guessing. 

D-C had solved Traub’s riddle, but that only made her more pensive than frustrated. 

“We had to do what we did in the first game,” Traub said. “Find the holes, pass well, serve aggressive.”

Traub fed the outside and coached her go-to middle hitter Bridget Wallenberger through slide plays to avoid a nasty Chargers block that had undone the Golden Eagles in Game 2. It worked. Jacobs outlasted D-C 25-14, 23-25, 25-15, to pick up its second Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win in as many games. 

“I think the girls were all a little defeated after that second game, but she didn’t lay down and die,” Jacobs coach Lisa Dwyer said of Traub. “She kept pretty composed. … When we won Game 3, she told the girls, ‘That’s how we finish. That’s how we do it.’ That’s growth for her.”

The Chargers (9-8 overall, 2-3 FVC Valley) caught Jacobs out of system in Game 2 to cut their deficit to five, 16-11. D-C then used a five-point run to knot the score at 16 thanks to kills from junior outside Lauren Lococo and one from sophomore outside Breanna Novak. D-C took its first lead, 19-18, when setter Frankie Cavallaro moved to the right side and terminated. The Chargers’ block minimized Wallenberger, and Jacobs’ outside hitter Katie Mahoney struggled to hit down the line. 

Traub didn’t let it happen in the third. She set Mahoney and outside hitter Kyla Fitzsimmons between the pins and the middle, and Traub moved Wallenberger (nine kills) behind her, so Wallenberger could break through the Chargers’ wall. 

“I was playing front row and no one is behind me then,” Traub said. “When she started going behind me, that’s when we found the holes and started to get past their blocking. … That’s how we won that third game.”

The Eagles built a 17-7 advantage they never relinquished. Mahoney (11 kills) terminated three straight times during the sequence and Wallenberger put the Chargers away with a match-ending shot. 

Dundee-Crown coach Christine Hopkins-Muehl was disappointed with the way her team played, despite its comeback. 

“We like to build a deep hole, and obviously it was too little too late,” she said. “ … It was a very flawed game. Even the second game.”

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