East’s volleyball team takes 4th place at State


East’s Girls Volleyball Team exits a huddle during a State Finals match in Bloomington. Photo courtesy of Kate Goudreau.

Aundrea Woods and Nia Cocroft

East’s Girls Volleyball Team has returned from their 4th place win at the State Final Tournament down in Bloomington after a challenging season. The last time the team made it to state was in 2011.

“We really just wanted to play well,” said Jennifer Kull, the head coach of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team. When talking about their journey to state, Kull said, “When we saw our playout route, we said, ‘Hey this can be doable.’ We had seen how we had done against teams similar to them, then we really thought ‘we can do this.’”

The team won against Loyola Academy at Super Sectionals with the final round ending with a score of 25-18.

“We knew that Loyola was going be tough, so we headed into that match thinking, ‘Let’s just win this one.’ Afterwards, I just remembered the kids start crying like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to state!’” Kull stated.

Sarah Musial, a setter on the team and a junior at East, faced a challenging injury during the South Elgin match, two weeks before playoffs.

“I was a little nervous because the doctor wasn’t sure I’d be able to play by then [playoffs,]” Musial said.

“The team stepped up, though, and after making adjustments they made it work and I was able to happily cheer them on every step of the way to playoffs.”

Kull recognized the girls who stepped in during Musial’s injury, “Kayla Le got in there and Natalie Gibbard really stepped up to the challenge and did a great job.”

Despite the injury, Musial was able to play in the Regional Final game.

The team made their way down to the state championships on Nov. 10 after their challenging match against Willowbrook, which East won, defeating Willowbrook 25-23, 25-17.

At the state competition, the team was faced with the challenges of getting through the next tough games.

“After a couple bad calls, bad serves, and a couple of bad plays we would like to take back, we just weren’t able to push over McAuley,” Kull said.

She added, “When it came to the second day, we were just burnt out, and we had spent all of our energy to get to that point.”

Barrington beat East, 25-20, 25-16, in the Class 4A, third place match.