The Evanston girls volleyball team has gotten off to its best start since 1987, when they finished 27-4. So far this season, the Wildkits’ overall record stands at 16-2, and 4-0 in Central Suburban League South Conference play (as of Sept. 29).
In a match against Niles West in Evanston’s Beardsley Gym on Sept. 22, the Kits beat the Wolves (25-23 and 25-14). In the first game, the Kits did not take the lead until the score was 17-16; and they trailed by 3 points on a number of occasions. Once they took the lead, though, they were able to maintain it and hang on for the win. In the second game, the teams took turns scoring until the score was tied 6-6, until the Kits exploded for 6 straight points to take a 12-6 lead. They did not look back, winning the second game easily, 25-14. At one point the Kits outscored the Wolves 13-3.
“We played consistently and did not lose focus or let Niles West fluster us, which is an improvement for the team, but I was disappointed that we did not come out with the confidence to play our game and not play down to the competition,”said head coach Pam MacPherson.
On Sept. 18-19, the Kits participated in the Wheaton Classic at Wheaton North, finishing third out of 24 teams. In the quarterfinals the Kits beat Sandburg (16-25, 25- 21, 27-25), in the semifinals they lost to Hinsdale Central (22-25, 22-25); and they beat Marist (25-23, 25-11) for third place.
In a match against Waukegan on Sept. 24, the Kits prevailed (25-20, 25-21).
During the week of Sept. 20-27, the Kits were ranked sixth in the Chicago Sun Times girls volleyball rankings. Regarding their early-season success, Coach MacPherson said, “I am very proud of the girls and what they have accomplished thus far, but we still have a long way to go if we want to make it downstate.” She added, “Every girl on our team, whether a starter or non-starter, has the same goal and determination and heart for the game.” She said she feels is the main reason for the Kits’ success so far.
The Kits’ upcoming schedule includes matches against conference rivals Glenbrook South on Oct. 1. They face off against Maine South on Oct. 6, and they host archrival New Trier (whom the Kits beat on Sept. 17, 25-16, and 25-21), on Oct. 7. They participate in the Discovery tournament on Oct 9-10 and visit Niles West on Oct.13.
When asked which teams on the remaining schedule she looks forward to playing, Coach MacPherson said, “We are trying to focus on each and every match, not just the ‘important’ ones. Every match and tournament is important as it is a chance to better ourselves.
“We can not become content with what we are doing or what we have done. We need to push ourselves each and every play, each practice, and each match to better ourselves individually and as a whole,” said MacPherson, regarding what her team must do to maintain their solid play.
If the Kits are able to maintain their high level of play, they just may go downstate for the second year in a row, as well as win a conference title for the first time since 1987.