LANSING | With the regional playoffs two weeks away, T.F. South volleyball coach Kim Sands believes her team is cresting at the right time.
Tuesday night, the Rebels backed up her claim.
South never trailed rival Thornton Fractional North en route to a 25-15, 25-8 home South Suburban Blue victory. With the win, the Rebels improved their record to 15-6-1 overall and 7-3 in the South Suburban Conference, while the Meteors fell to 3-18 and 1-10.
"I think the girls played as a team, played with confidence and intensity, which is all I can ask them to do," Sands said. "I'm very happy with them."
The Rebels tallied eight service aces in the second game alone. A block by Nicole Gill off a soft Meteors return of a Rachel De Lira serve began a five-point service run midway through the second game. De Lira capped the game with an ace. Teammate Ashtyn Kapovich jump-served three aces as part of a five-point run that gave the Rebels their 20-6 lead, and Elise Seufert served four consecutive aces to close out the match. Seufert finished the match with five aces and 19 assists.
"Our confidence radiates when somebody does some really good jump serves," said Rebel Danijela Jerkan, who had six kills and two blocks. "It gets everybody going."
South led by 10 points late in the first game before the Meteors put together their best stretch of play. An unforced Rebels error and an ace by Meteor Higinia Vazquez cut the lead to eight points. A net battle won by North's Bianca Ruiz, followed later by a pair of Strawberry Wright kills off Ruiz sets, closed the Rebels' lead to 22-15.
South, however, was able to close out the first game with a two-handed kill by Gill, a block by Leah Lagastee and an ace by Jillian Rodriguez.
"I'm a little disappointed," Meteors coach Peg Haney said. "I thought we played good for half of a game, but when you want to win so bad, any mistake you make seems to magnify itself."
Gill had six kills and two blocks for the Rebels on Tuesday night. Teammate Crystal Lee added five kills, and Lagastee made three kills and a team-high three blocks. Wright had a team-high three kills for the Meteors, while teammate Kinnedra Johnson added a pair of kills and Devin Luster contributed a game-high nine digs.