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Crystal Lake South volleyball team too much for Woodstock

WOODSTOCK – Crystal Lake South's girls volleyball team kept the momentum rolling Thursday night when the Gators defeated Woodstock, 25-9, 25-10.

The seniors picked up where they left off in Monday’s nail biter of a win over Marian Central.

Junior Abigail Marchewka stole the show with her nine kills in the season opener, but against the Blue Streaks it was all about the seniors. Carly Nolan and Cassy Sivesind set the tone for South at the net and from the service line. Nolan was on the receiving end of several Sivesind assists and finished the night with a team-leading seven kills.

“The second game in we wanted to come out strong as one team,” Nolan said. “People are switching between JV and varsity right now, getting a feel for everything, so we wanted to come out and play a good game.”

Nolan’s senior counterpart Sivesind had 12 assists, four blocks and three digs. She helped South jump out to early leads in both games, while Nolan was the hammer that closed out both games.

“I think our energy improved a lot from last game,” Nolan said. “We were really excited and we kept it going throughout the whole match.”

South is playing well to start the season and will get a chance to build on the foundation coach Jorie Fontana has established. She knows that the play of her seniors will be pivotal this year if the team is going to best its fourth place finish in the state tournament from last season.

“The seniors, our leaders, are veterans on the court and they are kind of playing with that emotion that comes with experience,” Fontana said.

The senior-led Gators are right where they want to be, but the Blue Streaks are trying to figure out what kind of team they are after a tough loss. Coach Meghan Mullaney was proud that her team competed, but acknowledged they could be much better.

“I was nervous, too, it happens to everybody,” Mullaney said. “I have a very young team with only one or two seniors we play on the varsity level, so that was to be expected.”

Nerves may have gotten the best of Woodstock early on, but the experience of South helped the Gators stay on top. Fontana knows just how crucial that experience will be in the upcoming stretch of games.

“It’s all about experiences and kind of pushing yourself to see weaknesses and strengths at this point so that you can keep building toward the end of the season,” Fontana said.

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