Having already advanced further than it had in school history, it would be normal for Brooks to be nervous with every match it played. If the seventh-seeded Eagles had any anxiety coming into their Public League quarterfinal matchup against second-seeded Northside, one wouldn’t be able to tell. Brooks eased into the semifinals with a 25-20, 25-16 win Monday at UIC.
Game 1 started out as a back-and-forth affair until Brooks coach Amber Payden took a timeout with her team down 7-6. The Eagles (15-11) promptly went on a 14-6 run to put the Northside on the ropes at 20-11.
“Coach just told us to play our game,’’ Kaylin Powell, who finished with five kills, said. “Being this far we were a little anxious to start the match and we just needed to calm down and play with ease.’’
The Mustangs weren’t done though, as Northside went on a 9-3 run to close to within 23-20 before a kill by Janel Daniels and a net error on Northside gave Brooks Game 1.
It was all Brooks in Game 2. After taking a 2-1 lead, the Eagles never gave the Mustangs (13-14) a chance, as the closest Northside got was 12-9. Brooks used its significant height advantage to block and alter Northside shots. While the Eagles had only four blocks on the night, they forced Northside into eight hitting errors.
Myah Reed also had five kills for the Eagles.
Other quarterfinal matches:
Payton d. Jones 25-9, 25-21
Top-seeded Payton (22-9) rolled to a win over the ninth-seeded Eagles behind Morgan Barnes’ seven kills and Olivia Rozmus’s six kills.
Young d. Lane 25-21, 25-19
The fourth-seeded Dolphins advanced to the semifinals Wednesday against Payton. The two schools squared off Sept. 19 in a thrilling three-set Payton win.
Kennedy d. Taft 25-18, 32-30
Kennedy, the third-seeded team in the city playoffs, advanced to the semifinals with a sweep of Taft. Dana Majerczyk had six kills and Melissa Mazur five in the win. Morgan Paske had six blocks for Kennedy (19-9).
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