Hinsdale Central outside hitter Ally Davis has all the attributes of a four-year starter and Big Ten-bound athlete.
In a non-conference girls volleyball match against Waubonsie Valley on Tuesday night in Aurora, the Michigan recruit was at her best with a match-high 15 kills and three aces to power the Red Devils past the Warriors 25-22, 25-18.
Fellow Hinsdale Central captain Katie Grabowski had one-third the total of kills as her senior classmate, but the five kills Grabowski delivered all came in clutch situations to power the Red Devils’ straight-games victory.
“Every kill is a momentum-changer,” said Grabowski, whose winner with Waubonsie closing to within 16-15 in the second game created separation the Red Devils would never relinquish. “It’s all on the defense. We definitely sped up the game more in the second game. We started putting more balls away.”
“(Grabowksi) definitely produced for us when it mattered,” Central coach Sheralynn Kellough said.
Davis’ imprints were all over the match for the Red Devils. The powerful left-side hitter whistled shots past the Warriors’ defense all night, and her two aces in the opening game helped Central take the see-saw affair.
Taking advantage of several critical Waubonsie service errors at key junctures in the opening game, Davis’ clean ace doubled the Red Devils’ lead to 23-21 late.
Back-to-back errors cost Waubonsie the opening game.
“We only lost (the first game) by three (points) with six service errors and six hitting errors,” Waubonsie coach Kristen Stuart said. “I felt like we gave away the first (game).”
Waubonsie sophomore Rachel Minarick was the glue for the Warriors in both games.
The sophomore setter worked seamlessly from both the back and front rows, collecting team-highs of seven kills and 11 assists.
But the Warriors never found a manner to slow down Davis’ all-around game.
Davis simply took over the second game as Grabowksi had a six-point service run to give Central a lead never to be lost.
Davis’ kill on the opening point of the second game only set the tone for what was to follow.
Central opened consistent leads as Davis added seven more second-game kills to augment the eight she fired in the opener.
With normal setter Meghan McDowell out with an injury, Ellie VanKeirsbilck compensated with a match-high 21 assists for Central.
“I like pressure points,” Davis said. “I don’t even care if I’m on my back, I want the ball. Ellie did a great job for us. She was giving me some money sets. When I get a good set, I want to put the ball down.”
“She’s a good hitter,” Stuart said of Davis’ prowess. “I thought we played kind of soft in the second game. We let them get into their system.”
Lisa Studnicka and Brittany Rampersad combined for nine kills for Waubonsie, which also received eight digs from Lauren Clarke.