WEST CHICAGO – The Batavia and Wheaton Academy girls volleyball teams spared no drama in their season openers.
The Warriors dug out of an early hole Wednesday and played the pressure points well late in the match to turn back the visiting Bulldogs, 22-25, 25-18, 25-22.
Wheaton Academy coach D.A. Nichols made a decision to ride the Warriors’ prolific outside hitter duo of Samantha Krill and Sydney Vischer in crunch time, and it paid off.
“I told [setter Alecia Funk], we’re going to feed Sam and Syd the ball,” Nichols said. “We always want to try and spread it out and get everyone involved but they were having a hard time stopping them at that point. I literally told Alecia our setter, ‘You can give them the ball every time, I don’t care if they’re ready or not.’ ”
Krill finished with 15 kills and Vischer had 14 while Funk registered 33 assists in her varsity debut.
Batavia led the third set, 17-13, after an ace by Marielle Eustace, capping a three-point run at the service line for the defensive specialist.
But Wheaton Academy swiftly reclaimed momentum, catching the Bulldogs at 19-all before pulling away in the late stages. Bulldogs coach Lori Trippi-Payne was visibly angered by a net violation call on the last point of the match.
Batavia started well as middle hitter Anna Clausen took over a close Game 1, recording a trio of late kills to give the Bulldogs the win.
Momentum remained in the Bulldogs’ corner early in the second game as Batavia zipped to a 6-2 lead. But the Warriors then reeled off nine straight points to take control, the last eight of which coming on serves from Vischer.
The third set was tight throughout but Vischer gave the Warriors the lead for good with a crosscourt kill to make it 22-21 Wheaton Academy, and the Bulldogs couldn’t summon a late response.