Girls volleyball slams Schaumburg in two-set victory


Nikhil Sriram, Sports Editor

After a solid win against Conant on Oct. 9, the girls volleyball team continued their reign of dominance in the MSL West with a two sets to none victory over Schaumburg on Oct. 11. Fremd earned the title of co-champions of the MSL West for the third consecutive season.

Junior setter Lydia Vander Ark reflects on the team’s ability to perform as a unit.

“It was really good today. Playing together a long time, we know who is going to be where,” Vander Ark said.  

As the first set kicked off, the Vikings quickly got out to a sizable 17-6 lead. The team’s defense, anchored by senior libero Maddie Aichinger, was nearly perfect the entire set. Flawless passes from the back row led to easy kills for the squad’s attackers and Schaumburg’s defense was unable to respond. Overall domination on the court allowed Fremd to cruise to an easy 25-11 first set win.

Head coach Curtis Pinley commends on the Viking’s defensive performance, which caused many problems for the Saxons.

“Because we were consistent in serve-receive, we were able to run our offense,” Pinley said. “Our ability to run our offense forced Schaumburg’s defense to move a little bit too much and that was when we were able to get points against them.”

While the first set may have been a blowout, the second set was much more of a challenge for Fremd, as Schaumburg put up a stronger fight. Neither team managed to get out to a lead of more than a few points during the entirety of the set. At one point, however, a succession of service errors and violations by Fremd, and smart plays by Schaumburg resulted in the Vikings trailing 15-18. This slight lead for the Saxons led Pinley to call a timeout. Senior middle hitter Jules Tangney details the benefit of the timeout late in the contest.

“It always helps so much to just take a moment and think about things and come out of the game and take a deep breath,” Tangney said.

This timeout proved to be the push needed for the girls to finish out the match in the second set itself, as the team quickly evened up the score at 20. The game remained tight, but a kill from senior outside hitter Peyton Hooker gave Fremd a 23-22 advantage. Hooker’s attack was followed by a kill from junior outside hitter Breslen Reid to make it 24-22. The Saxons managed to pick up one more point, but another kill from Reid wrapped up the set 25-23, and the Vikings walked away with the victory.

Pinley explains what he told his team during the timeout that helped bring about the win.

“I reminded them to stay aggressive. I also reminded them that they’re going to win as a team,” Pinley said. “I noticed that their energy was a little bit down, so I said one of the biggest things you’re going to need to do is figure out how to pick up each other on the court a little bit. And they came back out after that timeout and did a really nice job of doing that.”

Reid and senior Heidi Sayre led Fremd’s attack with eight kills apiece. Sophomore Rylen Reid contributed five. Setters Rian Baker and Vander Ark facilitated the ball well with 10 assists and 12 assists respectively. Aichinger held down the defense with 11 digs, on top of fantastic passes in serve-receive.

The win against the Saxons capped off a sensational 9-1 record in conference this season. The team also won the Grayslake North Invite for the second year in a row, increasing their overall record to 24-5. The Vikings have their sights set on a top finish in the upcoming state series this year.