Glenbard West puts end to three-year skid against young Lyons spikers
La Grange, 09/18/12--Lyons Township's Madison Babich and Ariah Palter nearly collide going for a dig. Lyons Township High School hosted Glenbard West High School in girls volleyball Tuesday evening. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 25, 2012 2:13PM
LA GRANGE — After dominating West Suburban Silver foe Glenbard West the past three years, the shoe is suddenly on the other foot for Lyons.
But don’t expect the Lions to stay down too long. They still made Tuesday’s showdown with one of the area’s few remaining unbeaten teams interesting before running out of steam late in the third game.
Glenbard West’s Northwestern-bound senior setter Caleigh Ryan had 25 assists, 11 digs and four kills, Amanda Perry had 15 kills and Megan Wagner added six kills and two blocks as the Hilltoppers kept Lyons winless in the Silver with an 18-25, 25-14, 25-17 victory Tuesday in LaGrange.
Senior outside hitter Alyssa Keeve had eight kills and an ace and sophomore setter Hannah Juley added 16 assists, four kills and four blocks for Lyons (6-8, 0-3 Silver), which started four sophomores and a junior Tuesday.
“We started nice and strong and seemed to have it together early,” Lyons coach Joann Pyritz said. “We had Glenbard West back on their heels. But then we lost confidence. I like to say that our average age is about 11, but that means that every now and again we get a little disjointed on the floor.
“But I’ve also seen this team play very well and have some very big spurts of points with kids producing,” the coach added. “We have some good athletes who are still working in their positions, learning the game and learning how to play on this team.”
Lyons broke an 11-11 deadlock in Game 1 on a kill by junior Caroline King. Keeve extended the advantage to 16-13, and following back-to-back errors by Glenbard West (22-0, 3-0), Juley’s block gave the hosts a 19-13 cushion.
But the Lions quickly fell behind 5-1 in Game 2 and never recovered, trailing by as many as 12 points at 24-12 before Perry put the set away for the visitors.
“We talk about starting the second game like it’s at point 26 and we talk about getting the first five points of the game, especially when you’re sitting on one game,” Pyritz said. “But we didn’t do that. We really we got ourselves in a hole that was hard to get out of.”
Game 3 was tied at 11 when a quick two-point run by Glenbard West prompted a Lyons timeout. But the carnage continued after the stoppage, and a block by Hilltoppers’ freshman Natalie Schilling gave the visitors a 22-14 lead.
“I think we were too amped up during the first game,” Ryan said. “We just really wanted to go out there and do everything right. In the second game, we learned to relax and keep our cool and play our game, and things turned out in the end how we wanted.”
Ryan, a four-year varsity player who had never beaten the Lions, said that she and her teammates are feeling the pressure that comes with a gaudy record and high state ranking.
“Yes, especially in the first game we showed a lot of pressure,” she said. “Obviously, we’re undefeated and we want to keep it that way, especially for the seniors. Lyons has always been a big game for us. To finally beat them is the greatest feeling in the world.”
Sophomore Jessi Skonning added six kills and King finished with five kills and an ace for Lyons.
“I still think this will be a much better LT team by the end of the season,” Pyritz said. “We have some inconsistencies because we are younger, but we also do some things really well in big moments. So I’m looking for that to happen more consistently as the season wears on.”