By The Examiner Staff
The absence of a top hitter and the lack of height proved to be two hurdles the William Chrisman volleyball team was unable to overcome Tuesday night in a Suburban Middle Six matchup.
The Bears swept in two sets, 25-12 and 25-14, against the Oakies at Oak Park High School.
The Bears (5-8, 1-3 conference) had a few moments where things were going good, but couldn't match the consistency of the Lady Oakies' attacks. Playing without sophomore Abby Bauman, who sustained a concussion on Saturday, also plagued the Bears.
“Quite frankly, we don't have the height,” Chrisman coach Dean Rausch said. “We gave them a lot of opportunities. They are an awesome team and they came down on us. Our tallest out there was 5-foot-9, and after that, it went down from there. No excuses. That was a very well-coached them. They ran some excellent offense. The setter put the ball right where it needed to be and they got the hitter.”
Oak Park (7-6, 3-1) had three hitters taller than 6-feet. The tallest Bear with extensive varsity experience was 5-foot-9 senior Skyler Corbett.
The height gave a big advantage to Oak Park as Megan Loew, Kari Westberg and Ali Scott dominated the middle.
Chrisman fell behind 8-5 in the first set but took advantage of three straight Oak Park errors to tie the match.
The Lady Oakies went on a 9-0 run to take command. Loew had three kills and Malaina Hensley had two aces to extend the lead to 17-8.
A kill by Camryn Holloman got another point on the board for Chrisman, but the Bears couldn't string together multiple points the rest of the match.
In fact, Oak Park gave up multiple points just five times on the night and no more than three at any stretch.
“We kept them on their heels defensively, and we served pretty smart as well,” Oak Park coach Candace McCall said. “We are really pushing to get the first ball back. That is our mentality, first ball, first ball.”
Chrisman fell behind 4-0 in the second but kills from Davionna Lagrone and Jennifer David, respectively, cut the deficit in half.
Oak Park then went on a 11-3 run to take a commanding 15-5 lead.
Scott, a 6-foot-1 junior, had three kills and an ace for Oak Park during the run.
Arianna Miller's only kill on the night helped Chrisman stop the run. The Bears pulled within eight, but Oak Park quickly established a double-digit advantage behind two more kills by Loew, a 5-foot-11 junior.
Down to match point, Chrisman staved off the ending point and scored three straight but a kill by Westberg ended it.