No. 1 Naperville North guts out victory vs. Downers South

Chicago Sun-Times  
November 9, 2003


A new Class AA girls volleyball state champion will be crowned this year.

Top-ranked Naperville North blew a big lead in the third game, then fought off match points to defeat defending state champion and supersectional host Downers Grove South 20-25, 25-21, 26-24 Saturday.

Taylor Reineke's block helped the Huskies fight off match point, and Katie Bruzdzinski's kill snapped a six-year string of losses by the Huskies (37-2) to the Mustangs.

"I tried to jump as high as I could,'' Reineke said of her pivotal block. "That turned the momentum around. No way were we going to lose.''

Naperville North used a 10-2 run to build a 15-7 lead in Game 3, but Jeannette Abbott (18 kills) gave Downers South a 23-22 lead. A tip kill by Kira Batura gave the Mustangs match point before Reineke's block, a net violation and Bruzdzinski's kill ended it.

Jackie Simpson led Downers South (34-6) with 29 assists, four kills and two blocks.

Lizzie Bazzetta (eight kills, four aces), Amanda Meyers (seven kills) and Ashley Pappas (six kills) produced for Naperville North (37-2).

"Naperville North is an amazing team,'' Simpson said. "We knew we had to play with heart. I don't think you can ask for much more in a match. There was great defense and great offense. You can't be disappointed if you've given your all.''

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