Aurora — Fighting through some injuries and close matches, the Aurora volleyball squad is showing flashes against a strong schedule.
Aurora (3-3) suffered its first league loss to Revere on Sept. 8 to move to 2-1 in the Suburban League American Conference. The locals lost in four games.
Sophomore middle hitter Brooke Besinger recorded 11 blocks and 8 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Morgan Copley put up 10 kills.
Junior middle hitter Sydney McDowell added 7 kills, senior setter Anna Davis had 25 assists and senior libero April Davis had 12 digs. Junior Jordan Parks had an ace.
Aurora won in five games Sept. 7 at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
“Due to injuries, the varsity has had to adjust its lineup,” said head coach Tyler Price. “We have looked to some of the underclassmen to fill those spots and they are coming through in ways I never could’ve imagined.”
One of those girls is freshman defensive specialist Izzie Zuckett. “She has stepped up while playing at all three levels in the past couple of matches,” said Price.
Anna Davis registered 42 assists in the win and April Davis had 23 digs. Copley had 10 kills, McDowell and Besinger each had 9, and junior outside hitter Julianna Ritter posted 8 kills.
McDowell and Anna Davis each had 3 aces and Besinger had 4 blocks in what Price called “an extremely hot gym. All of the players were already tired and stressed playing two matches in a row, and it showed in their play.”
At the start of game 5, Price thought the girls looked ready to win.
“Some miscues and lack of aggressiveness led to SVSM having a 13-5 lead. With our final timeout, I told the girls to just worry about a point at a time— play our game and everything will be OK,” he said.
Aurora’s other freshman defensive specialist Brooke Dubensky subbed in to serve.
“Suddenly the game is tied. Without Brooke having nerves of steel, there is no way we’d have come back to win.”
Aurora also won Sept. 6 against visiting Highland in league play in four games.
“After a nice Labor Day practice and picnic, these girls were up to the task of the
busy week ahead, and we came out firing with some aggressive serving,” Price said.
“We got Highland out of its comfort zone, which allowed us to be in ours. The team is performing better and better each match and is heading in the right direction.”
Pacing the serving was Anna Davis and McDowell, who each had 3 aces. Leaders in kills were McDowell with 11, and Copley had 8 and Ritter 4. Anna Davis had 21 assists.
“After a rough couple of weeks, this team is finally starting to show what it is capable of doing,” added Price.