Photo: Junior Ellie Dunn (left) had eight points and 12 kills, but the Lady Knights fell short at Burlington Central Tuesday, falling to 3-3. Photo by Patti Wilk
Wheaton North tourney provides first test of season
KANELAND—A usual stop for Kaneland volleyball to begin the 2013 season would be anything but this time around.
With a roster infused with new personnel and a new coach in Kerri McCastland, the Lady Knights could approach the Wheaton North High School stop as an early barometer. Kaneland ended up with a 3-2 mark and beat Arlington Heights, Ill., outfit St. Viator for the fifth-place honor in the Aug. 28 and Saturday tournament.
“It allows you come you to take an assessment of your team and then come home and work on things before Saturday. Wheaton North’s tournament was well run well and we saw a lot big 4A schools for volleyball. It’s always good to play up and beat some very good programs by the end,” McCastland said.
Jenny Lubic, the Lady Knights senior representative, was named to the All-Tournament team.
Kaneland was placed in Pool C, along with former Suburban Prairie Conference North Division and Western Sun Conference rival Glenbard South and Buffalo Grove on Aug. 28. Kaneland was trumped by GS by a 25-18, 25-21 margin, but came back to solve the Lady Bison 16-25, 25-18, 25-23.
On Saturday, Kaneland began Gold Division play with a loss to Glenbard West in 19-25, 25-14, 25-15 fashion, but came back for a 25-21, 25-19 win over Stagg. KHS fifth-place win over the Lady Lions of St. Viator was by count of 25-18, 25-20.
Montini Catholic beat Glenbard West in the title match, 25-17, 25-18.
On Tuesday at Burlington Central, Kaneland lost to the hosts 25-22, 25-13, 26-24 to fall to .500 on the season. Lubic contributed five points, 18 assists and two kills, while Ellie Dunn had eight points and 12 kills, and Anna Senese contributed 10 points and six kills. Bridget Ransford contributed five points and three kills.
Despite the loss to the Rockets, McCastland seemed pleased with the progress the team is making.
“The score shows a loss for Kanleand,” she said, “This is day 15 here at Kaneland with a new coach, new offense, new defense and a lot of learning. My team saw victory in so many areas tonight. We are better than Saturday when we last played.”
Kaneland’s next challenge takes the form of visitors Aurora Central Catholic on Thursday, Sept. 5.