Taylor Carroll played eighth-grade girls volleyball at St. Francis Xavier School in La Grange on a team of seven with one other teammate who played club.
Being a varsity starter as a freshman at Lyons Township High School has been quite a transition.
“I went from a really small, tiny school to a school with 1,000 per grade,” Carroll said.
“It’s really different but I enjoy it a lot, especially playing with all of the juniors and seniors. It’s a very big transition but everyone’s been really nice and it’s fun to play good, competitive volleyball with people who are trying to play good, competitive volleyball.”
The Lions were pushed to the brink Oct. 3 but they pulled out one of their biggest victories of the season by outlasting York 25-21, 20-25, 25-23 in La Grange after trailing 22-20 in the third set.
“It was so exciting. When things go to three (sets), I love competitive games,” Carroll said. “I think it’s more fun where it’s very close. It was a lot of fun to be able to overcome a challenging set.”
The West Suburban Conference Silver victory also gives the Lions (21-4, 3-1 in Silver) the chance to win conference if they won Tuesday at first-place Glenbard West (23-2, 4-0), which defeated Oak Park and River Forest Oct. 3.
“Oh my gosh, it was such a good win,” said LTHS senior Annabelle Montgomery. “Last year, York brought us to three sets (before LTHS won). We knew that they wanted it. I think it was even bigger because we were at home (this year). Honestly, a big win for all of us especially since we’re seniors now.”
Abby Markworth (26 assists, 7 kills, 11 digs, 13 service points, 2 aces), Kiley Mahoney (20 digs, 5 service points), Grace Turner (8 kills, 2 blocks), Carroll (8 kills), Maddie Richard (7 kills), Montgomery (6 kills, 2 blocks), Laine Violante (12 digs), Reagan Farnan (9 digs, 6 service points) and Maggie Kachmarik (6 digs, 2 aces) led the Lions.
Down two late, LTHS scored the next four points for match point at 24-22 behind a kill from Carroll and two by Turner. After a York sideout, the Lions won on Richard’s kill in quick transition following a great rolling dig by Farnan.
In the third set, Carroll had five kills with no errors and Turner and Montgomery had five and four with one error, respectively.
“We definitely showed that we are capable of playing under pressure in tight, close competitive matches. That was a good thing to see especially going into playoffs,” LTHS coach Jill Bober said. “I’m really proud of the way they were able to finish out the match.”
Montgomery had five blocks in Monday’s 25-16, 25-19 win over Metea Valley.