North Stars volleyball converts slow start into win

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – Sometimes the key to victory is to know the right time for players and coaches to talk things out.

St. Charles North girls volleyball coach Lindsey Hawkins decided not to call a timeout and discuss the team’s poor start in the first game of its IHSA Class 4A St. Charles North Regional semifinal against Wheaton North on Tuesday night.

The host North Stars were not playing like the sectional’s fourth seed, failing behind 8-2 to the Falcons, ranked 13th in the Larkin Sectional.

North players realized they needed to talk to each other more on the court. The strategy worked as North (23-13) clawed back into the contest and won Game 1, 25-23. The team went on to win the second game, 25-19, to take the match and advance to Thursday’s regional title game against Glenbard North, which downed Wheaton Warrenville South in the night’s other match.

”I have faith in my girls. I know that they can work through even the toughest obstacles and so sometime I just like to let them,” Hawkins said of her first match back from a maternity leave. “Sometimes they don’t need me to tell them what’s going on.”

Hawkins called the Falcons (13-20) “very scrappy” and defensively sound.

While Wheaton North’s Erica Walker’s 14 digs gave the North Stars fits, North’s defense also turned in a stellar performance.

Alex Busch was credited with 19 digs and Alex Seavey and Renee Rhoades added seven apiece.

The North Stars tied the first game 16-16 on a net violation. North took its first lead, 17-16, on an Emily Carroll kill.

The scrappy Falcons persisted, tying the game three times, the last at 23.

A Daley Krage kill put North ahead 24-23 and a block by Alex Stone (six blocks, four kills) won the game.

The North Stars tied the first game 16-16 on a net violation. North took its first lead, 17-16, on an Emily Carroll kill.

The scrappy Falcons persisted, tying the game three times, the last at 23.

A Daley Krage kill put North ahead 24-23 and a block by Alex Stone (six blocks, four kills) won the game.

After a 1-1 tie, North never relinquished he lead in the second game but struggled to put away the Falcons, who came within 19-16.

Three successive North Star kills, two by Taylor Krage and one by Carroll, widened the lead to 22-16, and the last of Taylor Krage’s team-leading 11 kills won the game.

Emily Belz earned 17 assists for the North Stars, who are excited about the chance to play for a regional title on their home floor.

“We’re looking forward to another intense match,” Hawkins said of the Panthers. “We’ll definitely have to bring our A-game.”

Ali Royer led Wheaton North with eight kills, followed by Maddie Hutchinson’s seven and Kendra Arenkill’s five. Sara Fiala added 17 assists for the Falcons.

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