CALUMET CITY | Just about the time T.F. North had gotten warmed up, its match with Reavis was practically over.
The Meteors bolted to brief leads in both of their games with the Rams Tuesday night, only to see each one slip away as Reavis posted a 25-17, 25-19 South Suburban Conference crossover victory.
North coach Peg Haney wasn't overly upset by the outcome. She said inconsistent play and unforced errors are not uncommon to first matches of the year, and usually just indicate that players are anxious to get their seasons started.
"I think we were like a roller coaster today," Haney said. "We had some really good points, and then we'd have some mental lapses. But I think for an opening game, I am not too disappointed."
The Meteors held a 4-0 lead in the first game, only to see the Rams take advantage of North's unforced errors and violations at the net to build a 13-6 lead. Despite its own uneven serving and shot selection, Reavis kept the Meteors at bay the rest of the game.
North surrendered a 4-3 lead in the second game after a three-point run by Rams libero Alice Balandis, but this time the Meteors stayed close, thanks largely to strong back-row play that led to longer rallies and better scoring chances.
Haney was especially pleased with the play of senior Devin Luster, who broke in as a middle hitter and, much like the rest of the team, seemed to improve as the match wore on. Luster finished with two kills, four digs and a block for point.
Teammate DauRiauna Bruce added two kills, while Meteor Diana Maldanado had a team-high eight digs.
"I'd say the nerves really got to us -- that was our biggest adjustment," said Luster, who was a setter last season. "We play against boys in practice, so we are used to hard hits. We just got to wipe off those nerves and play like we know how to play."
The Rams tallied seven of the final nine points to close out the second game and match. Reavis was led by Haley Dever, who had six kills and two service aces, and Kyley Morton, who contributed seven assists.
"Our girls played really hard and they played aggressive throughout the match," Rams coach Michelle McDonough said. "One of the things we've been lacking is staying strong the whole match, and I think the girls did a good job of that tonight."