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The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

Girls varsity volleyball starts conference season strong defeating Neuqua Valley

The Naperville North High School girls varsity volleyball team beat Neuqua Valley High School on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The Huskies (1-0) squeezed out a win against the Wildcats (0-1) after three nerve-racking sets.

The team was optimistic heading into their first Dupage Valley Conference (DVC) match of the season. Head Coach Jennifer Urban elaborates on the team’s intentions for the game and the start of the conference season. 

“We always know that Neuqua is a strong opponent and opening up DVC with them at Home was something we really wanted to get off to a 1-0 start and play well,” Urban said.

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With this in mind, the girls kicked off the first set with a strong lead, pushing the Wildcats to use both of their timeouts for the set when the Huskies led 12-6 and 17-11. Strong offensive efforts from junior Isabella Fleurima, senior Sydney Kushner and senior Cate Thompson helped to quickly close out the set in the Huskies’ favor for a final score of 25-15. 

The Huskies carried a very different momentum throughout the second set, going toe to toe with Neuqua for the first half of the set. Huskies began to lose control with consecutive defensive errors forcing them to call a timeout when down in the middle of the set. The timeout seemed to serve no use in getting the girls out of their rut as they struggled into their second timeout down shortly after. With a slim shot at winning the set, the team attempted to hold on a bit longer, but ended up losing to Neuqua 17-25, forcing both teams into a third set.

In need of a reset, Urban expresses how the team recognized their mistakes from the second set in order to try and advance in the third set.

“We knew that if we cut down on our errors we would be in great shape, at the end of the match we saw that half of our errors came in the second set, so we knew that as long as we were taking care of the ball on our side, we were confident that we were gonna win the third set,” Urban said.

At the beginning of the third set, the rest of the team seemed to adopt confidence with Senior Captain Liz Rossi slamming three hits in a row, shutting down Neuqua’s energy and throwing North fans into a frenzy. 

The Huskies carried their lead throughout the third set, leaving Neuqua to use both of their timeouts. With the end of the set near, the Huskies seemed to falter, going point for point with Neuqua but eventually secured the long-awaited win, ending the set at 25-18.

North’s valiant energy and consistent team effort allowed the Huskies to lead their DVC record 1-0. Urban expands on what it took for the Huskies to win, explaining that along with the team’s thrilling offensive plays, there was also a great amount of work done by the defense.

“It was definitely a team effort. We had some good offensive contributions from Liz Rossi, Cate Thompson and Bella Fleurima. We [also] had some great digging from our setters, Leah Norris had 15 digs [and] Paige Selman had 11 digs, they led our team in digs,” Urban said.

The Huskies hope to carry this energy into another DVC match on Thursday against Dekalb, as well as a tournament they have this weekend against several sectional competitors. Rossi discusses how the team feels going into their games later this week.

“I think we’re just hoping to carry this consistency over for the week because we have another six matches to play, so I’m just excited to see what the team does this weekend and on Thursday,” Rossi explained.

The team is set to expand their DVC record as they’re scheduled to play away at Dekalb on Thursday, Sept. 21. The game is set to begin at 6:00 p.m. at Dekalb.

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About the Contributors
Cally Navarro, Staff Writer
Cally Navarro is a senior at Naperville North and is excited to be a part of The North Star for her first year. She looks forward to exploring different genres of writing, pushing forward in reporting and finding new ways to contribute to the newsroom. Outside of the newsroom, you can find Cally involved in an array of extracurriculars including being a co-president of Spanish National Honors Society, Treasurer of Empower Club, Senior Board and Mock Trial.   
Will Richards, Sports and Heads up Huskies Editor
Will is a senior and starting his second year on The North Star staff. He is excited to start his role as the Sports and Heads up Huskies Editor this year. He wants to expand his writing skills as well as his multimedia skills throughout the year. Outside the newsroom, Will plays baseball outside of school and for Naperville North. He is also a Student Government representative.

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