The fact that no “super” teams stood in the way of Evanston’s volleyball team on its postseason path this year made a season-ending loss to Loyola Academy even tougher to take.
At the Class 4A Maine East Sectional Tuesday night, the Wildkits fell short in their bid to capture a “winnable” sectional tournament, bowing to the top-seeded Ramblers by a 25-15, 25-17 margin in the semifinals.
Evanston errors produced most of the points for the Ramblers, now 25-9 on the season. The fourth-seeded Kits finished an up-and-down season with a 17-17 won-loss record.
“Loyola’s a very good team, and we didn’t show up tonight,” said ETHS head coach Pam MacPherson, whose squad was seeking only the third sectional crown in school history. “Loyola didn’t beat us — we beat us. We had a lot of unforced errors.
“Our inconsistency has plagued us all year and it was there again tonight. The girls who did well for us in the first game struggled in the second game, and the girls who played well for us in the second game struggled in the first. When you play against good teams, you have to be ‘on’ at all times. This was a winnable sectional.”
Loyola played almost mistake-free volleyball while beating Evanston for the second time this season. The Ramblers scored seven straight points to start the first set and never looked back, although the Kits did close to within 16-10 on a rare hitting miscue by the winners.
The second set was tighter. ETHS led 9-8 when junior Naydiia Gary converted a middle hit for a score off a quick set from Keegan Joyce. But that turned out to be Evanston’s last lead of the 2014 season as the Ramblers reeled off the next three points.
Senior Christine Covode and junior Ehize Omoghibo paced the Wildkits with 5 kills apiece. Wali Deutsch contributed 2 kills and 2 blocks.
Loyola was led by Olivia Van Zelst with 6 kills. The winners were also credited with 6 ace serves as a team.
Source: ETHS Sports Information