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Girls Volleyball: Lyons caps unbeaten opening week with win over Lockport

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By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

Kamryn Lee-Caracci is going to keep hitting.

When she connects, watch out.

Lee-Caracci clubbed a match-high 12 kills and had 15 digs and added a pair of aces as Lyons opened its season by rallying for an 18-25, 27-25, 25-16 victory over host Lockport on Aug. 24.

The match was played in the old gym known as “The Pit” at Lockport’s Central campus.

Lee-Caracci helped her club team, 1st Alliance 17 Gold club team win the 17 Open title at the USA Volleyball Championships this year. She wants to help the Lions (4-0) to great heights, too.

Lee-Caracci has transitioned from middle hitter to a front-row hitter this season.

“I was a little nervous to start out and made some mistakes.,” she said. “That was just me getting in my head and hitting long. But then I settled in.”

Lyons coach Jill Bober is happy to have the three-year varsity veteran to help lead the way.

“She will wail on the ball,” Bober said of Lee-Caracci. “It was a nice opening win to get under our belt. Our team block stepped up and we got players in their spots.”

In the opening set loss, the Lions had 10 hitting errors and a service error. They limited themselves to 10 hitting errors the rest of the match, including three in the final set.

Libero Kiley Mahoney had 20 digs and junior setter Abby Markworth distributed 29 assists and added two aces. Markworth reached a milestone on Aug. 26 when she reached 1,000 career assists in victories over Fenwick, Homewood-Flossmoor and New Trier.

Lockport was led by junior outside hitter Megan Consigny (5 kills, 7 digs), senior outside hitter Grace Juergens (5 kills, 2 aces), junior libero Payton Malinoski (11 digs), and junior setter Lainey Green (18 assists) for the Porters, who were 4-2 at weeks end, including placing second at the big 32-team Crimson Classic Tournament at the Great Lakes Center in Aurora.

There are five returning players from last season’s Lions squad, which went 32-4 and unbeaten in the West Suburban Conference Silver for their first 30-victory season and undefeated conference title since 2014.

Turner sustained an ACL injury as a freshman and was on the sophomore team last year. She is one of 11 juniors on the team.

“This is my first season on varsity and I just want to solidify my progress,” Turner said. “I think at the beginning we were all nervous.”

“But we are very well rounded with our hitting and defense. We just want to keep making progress, and it’s really our energy that comes out. We all have a good connection on-and-off the court.”

The court at Lockport Central, the district’s original high school building, is more than 100 years old. It is referred to as “The Pit” because all the spectator seating is above the court — or in the case of volleyball, the net.

“It’s a very old style,” Lee-Caracci said. “We all felt like we were walking into a vintage gym.”

Lyons hopes it has a vintage season.

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