LANSING | T.F. South coach Kim Sands pulled out the big guns when she asked Rebels libero Ashtyn Kapovich to ground her jump serve.
With a furious Homewood-Flossmoor rally threatening to take Wednesday's volleyball match against the Rebels to a third game, Sands made the request and Kapovich complied, as the junior unleashed two conventional serves that were not returned to close out the Rebels 25-18, 27-25 nonconference victory at T.F. South High School.
"We didn't get down on ourselves and everyone picked each other up," Kapovich said. "This feels really good, because H-F is one of our enemies."
Vikings coach Tony Kruse singled out Kapovich as one of the reasons his young team that only has two seniors was unable to force a third game. Kapovich had a team-high 12 digs and added three kills.
"T.F. South's libero was fantastic tonight," Kruse said. "I thought she really controlled the game both with her passing and a few down balls from the back row that surprised our girls a bit. She is short, but she hits the ball a ton."
The Rebels (6-2-1) took early command of both games. A kill by Leah Lagastee and back-to-back service aces by Nicole Gill (nine kills) gave the Rebels a 10-4 lead in the first game. As they would do in the second game, the Vikings rallied late in the first game, with back-to-back kills by Kaitlyn Shereyk (12 kills, eight digs) closing the Rebels lead to 21-18.
The Rebels immediately responded, however. Crystal Lee (seven kills) posted a kill off an Elise Seufert feed, Rachel DeLira served up one of her four aces, Danijela Jerkan (eight blocks) blocked a shot for point and the Vikings committed a net violation to close out the game.
The Rebels jumped to a 13-4 lead early in the second game, but two five-point rallies by the Vikings (4-5) eventually gave the visitors a 25-24 lead. The Rebels got the ball back when Seufert set up Kapovich for a middle kill, before the junior closed out the match on her serve.
Lexi Jung and Evelyn Weidman each added four kills for the Vikings, while teammate Kassie Wallace contributed a team-high 13 assists and eight digs. Lagastee had 10 blocks for the Rebels, while teammate Seufert had a team-high 16 assists.
"The passing was the key to our quick starts," Sands said. "Once we passed, the setting and hitting really fell into place."