LTHS volleyball spikes Oak Park to hold league lead

Senior Kamryn Lee-Caracci and her Lyons High School girls volleyball teammates were proud yet surprised by their large home crowd on September 28th.

The annual Pink Out game against Silver West Suburban Conference co-leader Oak Park-River Forest drew the full LTHS section, including the Varsity football, swimming/diving and cheerleading teams.

“We had a big student section, which was bigger than we’ve ever had,” Lee-Caracci said. “We were watching the sophomores [play] and then people started piling up. I was getting a little nervous, but I tried to reassure my team that being nervous was just a mindset.”

After the second set, the Lions realized they needed to be just as loud. They turned talk into action for a 25-23, 20-25, 25-16 victory.

“In the second set, we had a lack of communication,” setter Abby Markworth said. “A good thing about our team is our chemistry and how we talk on the court. After we lost the second [set], we came back and [said], ‘We’re winning this.'”

LTHS (20-3, 3-0) maintained control of the defense of its WSC Silver championship but still has to play Glenbard West (16-8, 3-0), York (16-4, 2-1) and Downers Grove North ( 11)-14, 2-2).

Lee-Caracci (14 kills, 6 digs), Grace Brennan (13 kills, 2 aces), Markworth (30 assists, 6 digs, 7 service points, 2 aces), Grace Brennan (13 kills, 12 digs , 6 points), Grace Turner (6 kills, 3 blocks), Kiley Mahoney (12 digs, 25 serves, 6 points), Maggie Kachmarik (6 points), Katie Debs (4 kills) and Amelia Montgomery (3 blocks) led the victory.

In an impressive third set, the Lions had 16 kills with just one attack error and never trailed.

OPRF (19-5, 3-1) closed to 16-14 but the Lions did not allow a service point the rest of the way. Kachmarik served and two more points to open a 22-15 lead.

“We took control and started making adjustments on our side of the court,” LTHS coach Jill Bober said. “I think that, at times in the first and second set, we were not so decisive. We were hesitant, didn’t communicate much and we reduced those things in the third set.”

Lee-Caracci had six kills in the final set, attacking outside and center, her usual position during the club season.

“That helped a lot, thanks to Abby setting me such perfect balls,” Lee-Caracci said. “[Earlier] I got blocked a couple of times. When things like this happen, I think being the smarter player is more important than being the strongest player.”

Brennan stayed strong on the outside with five kills, still kissing the line against mostly double blocks. Turner, a 6-2 junior, had three kills and two blocks.

“[Markworth and Lee-Caracci] are our leaders and I really trust them. I know when they get up, it amazes me,” said Turner.

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