The North Star

Huskie girls volleyball eliminated from playoffs

The Naperville North Huskies played for a berth in the sectional final on Monday. Looking to continue their five-game win streak, the Huskies were met by the talented champions of the Southwest Prairie Conference; Minooka High School.

The Minooka Indians (36-2, 14-0) defeated the Huskies (30-8, 6-2) in straight sets by a final score of 25-13, 25-18.

Facing a Minooka team armed with a trio of six-footers, the Huskies found themselves at an immediate disadvantage in regards to height. Without a starter above 5 feet 11 inches, the Huskies felt the wrath of the giants on the opposite side of the net. After jumping out to an early 5-4 lead in the opening set, the Indians rattled off a dominating 16-3 run led by the consistency of Opposite Hitters Allison Papesh and Raquel Perinar.

“If you’ve seen us, we’ve been playing like that for a while,” Perinar said. “If we keep playing like this for the rest of the season, we have it in the bag.”

The early stages of the second set mirrored the first, with the Huskies grabbing an 8-6 lead right out of the gate. However, the Indians finished off the set on a wild 19-10 run to seal the deal and punch their ticket to the sectional final on Wednesday against the Benet Redwings.

After a 23-win season a year ago, the Huskies turned many heads this year by finishing with a dazzling 30 total victories. In the experienced career of Huskies Head Coach Jennifer Urban, never before had a team of hers emerge victorious in multiple tournaments in a single season. That changed with this group.

“This team maximized their potential all season,” Urban said. “There is a lot to be proud of.”

Of the fifteen total players on the team this season, more than half were seniors. The leadership and experience of the nine seniors shone bright both on and off the court. Junior Setter Grace Selman is eager to assume the role of mentoring her younger teammates next season.

“We are going to make sure that we take them under our wing,” Selman said. “We will show them what this program stands for.”

After a final season filled with success and achievements, the seniors now bid farewell to high school volleyball. For Setter Katie Cahill, the development of her teammates over the years has been a joy to witness.

“We have been playing together since seventh grade,” Cahill said. “It is amazing to see how much everyone has grown in both skill and character.”

After their first 30-win season since 2007, the Huskies will look to continue the massive success next season and beyond. Despite suffering a third-round playoff exit this year, the attitude of Coach Urban has remained positive.

“We just talked about looking back on this season as a whole and being proud of the different team goals that we were able to accomplish,” Urban said. “We hope the girls stay hungry.”

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About the Contributors
Brant Bednarz, Sports Editor

Brant Bednarz is a senior at Naperville North High School and this is his second year on The North Star. He is an aspiring sports journalist/broadcaster who is passionate about politics, sports, and the Chicago Cubs. He broadcasts sporting events for The Cube with his friends Kirubel Mesfin and Martin Herz. He also enjoys writing with a distinct voice, especially in his opinion pieces.

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Jacob de Waard, Multimedia Producer

Jacob de Waard is a senior at Naperville North High School and is the Multimedia Producer for The North Star and The NOW. Jacob was born in New Jersey and lived on three different continents before moving to Naperville. He is also an aspiring photojournalist and pizza connoisseur.

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