Belvidere North lets third set slip away, finish as Class 3A state runner-up
NORMAL, Ill. (WIFR) - Belvidere North jumped out to a 12-6 lead in the third set, before Nazareth Academy went on an 10-2 run to take a 16-14 lead that the Roadrunners would never give back. The Blue Thunder’s bid for their first state championship fell short, losing 18-25, 25-20, 21-25.
Belvidere North was the first NIC-10 team to appear in a girls volleyball state final since Hononegah in 2006. The Blue Thunder finished the season 39-3.
The first set went back and forth, before Nazareth pulled away late. The second set was similar to the first, except in was the Blue Thunder that pulled away late. North took that momentum into the third thanks to the play of seniors Jayden Flynn and Rachel Scott.
Scott finished the match with 18 kills and 12 digs, while Flynn had 31 assists, 12 digs and four kills.
“Even though we got second, I just can’t put into words how that feels right now. I’m so proud of each and every one of us for this ride. Never in a million years would I have thought that we would’ve been here. To go out like this as a senior is unreal.”
After the Roadrunners made their run to get back in it, the two teams went blow for blow. Nazareth finally got just enough breathing room after a Kathryn Hurta kill made it 23-19. But the “all gas, no breaks” Blue Thunder wouldn’t surrender quietly. Facing five match points, North scored the next three points to make it 24-21. Unfortunately, Ava Irvin’s attack went long, ending the match.
“I was proud,” said Flynn. “I was relieved to know that, we were here and we just did everything we could.”
“This group of seniors said from day one that this is where they wanted to end their season,” said head coach Amanda Hicks. “And the fact that they delivered on that promise, says all you need to know about them. They were unbelievable. I’m so glad that they made this happen.”
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