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JOHNSONBURG â€“ In a well played match of five sets, the Lady Wolves fell just shy of the win and a chance to go to districts as Johnsonburg took the match 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 15-9).
â€śWe were in this match from the first point to the last," said Kane head varsity girls volleyball coach Judy Kessler. "It was such an effort by the girls and such an exciting match. The girls had districts as their goal and were truly heartbroken that they fell just a few points short. They put so much heart and effort into their play so it can be discouraging, but I am extremely proud of them and the way they played.
"We may not have a winning record at 7-8, but I sure do have a winning team. I couldnâ€™t ask for more heart and soul than what these girls have been giving to each other with their effort. I wouldnâ€™t trade them for anything. And we have one game left and they are going to play again with heart and soul to win it.â€ť
In the first set, the teams battled to a 13-11 Wolves lead. Audrey Perry had two solo blocks and Morgan Nicholson and Cassie Whittemore put up a strong double block at the net. Nicole Shrubb had two kills and Perry one. Another block by Whittemore and Nicholson notched the game at 15-15. Sicher got a kill, Katelyn Moran dumped a tip, Whittemore had two kills, and Nicholson another block as the Wolves took a 22-21 lead. Perry tied it 22-22 with a kill at the top of the net. At 22-23, Nicholson tied it with a kill before Johnsonburg got the last two points for the win.
â€śThis was a great game and it was anybodyâ€™s win," Kessler said. "It was a matter of running out of time.â€ť
Although the Wolves jumped to a 6-3 lead with three Perry kills and one by Sicher, the teams battled to an 8-8 game before Johnsonburg ran up some points for a 12-8 lead. Points traded to 11-14 Johnsonburg and then 11-18. The Wolves continued to play well at the net and made some great defensive plays. Libero Shannon Kocjancic had a great game as did Sam Ferranto in left back. Sicher, Perry (2), and Whittemore continued to hit well at the net for kills. Some aggressive errors by the Wolves and a ball off the block put the Ramettes at game point before they won it with a tough serve.
â€śSam probably played one of her best matches [Tuesday night]," Kessler said. "She was right on with her defense and really moved well and passed incredibly well. She put the ball right on into Katelynâ€™s hands most of the night.â€ť
With their backs to the wall, the Wolves were determined not to go out without a fight. They jumped to a 9-4 lead as Perry had 32 kills, Shrubb one, and Angie Geer an ace. Two aces by Moran and a kill by Nicholson gave the Wolves a 14-11 lead. Perryâ€™s block and two Sicher aces made it 18-14. Moran dumped another ball over the net for a 20-17 lead. The Wolves kept ahead of the Ramettes throughout the whole game, earning four points in a row with Whittermore at the net (2 kills) to make it game point-18. Two aggressive attacking mistakes by the Wolves put the Ramettes at 20 but they pushed the ball out for the Wolvesâ€™ final point.
Again taking an early lead of 8-4, the Wolves took advantage of Johnsonburg not being ready on defense. Perry had three kills, Shrubb one, and Sicher one while Geer had another ace. A few passing errors cost the Wolves a few points and some miscommunication gave the Ramettes a point as they went ahead 8-10. Perryâ€™s kill and Shrubbâ€™s block tied it 10 all. Down 13-17, Whittemore got a kill before the sideout and then Perryâ€™s block gave the Wolves the sideout point and the ball. After another sideout and a 14-19 Johnsonburg lead, Sicher got a nice kill on the outside, putting herself at the service line where she rattled off eight straight points (one ace). Shrubb had another block, Moran another tip, and Perry a quick attack at the net.
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