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Seneca ends losing streak, defeats Plano

SENECA – The Seneca girls volleyball team entered the week on a three-match losing streak, but veteran coach Karen Raney was not overly concerned with its play.

The first of the losses was a three-set match against Manteno in the championship game of Seneca’s own Lady Irish Invitational.

The third was a three-set match against Coal City in Interstate Eight Conference divisional play.

In between was a two-set home loss to Westmont, when Raney said Seneca’s play left something to be desired.

The streak came to an end Tuesday, and it was never in real danger of being extended by Plano.

Seneca defeated the Reapers 25-14, 25-18, improving to 12-4-1 overall and 3-2 in the I-8 North.

“At practice we talked about how we were in a three-match dip and it was important to get back on track in our Interstate Eight Conference race,” Raney said.

“We knew that we played really strong at Coal City, so we were coming in with confidence.”

Seneca gained comfortable leads in both games thanks to the serving of Madison Wyss.

She started the first game with a sideout kill before serving up four straight points.

Plano did get within 9-8 later before multiple-point serving runs by Danielle Hauch and Lexi Wilkinson allowed the Irish to retake control.

Plano led 2-1 in the second game when Wyss went back to the line. She notched seven points there, including three aces in a row and Seneca again never led by fewer than five points.

Wyss finished with 13 points and seven aces. The Irish totaled 30 points at the line and had one service error.

“We talked a lot about their serve being a strong weapon for us, and it was. That was really critical,” Raney said. “Madison had an outstanding service attack tonight.”

Hauch led Seneca with eight kills, which she credited to the setting tandem of Kayla Haines, who had 12 kills, and Wyss, who had 10. Plano’s Clarissa Martinez led all players with 10 kills, but the production from her supporting cast did not match that of Hauch’s, as five Seneca players other than Hauch had multiple kills.

“I think we just wanted to come out with energy, because we wanted to get out of that little slump of ours, and I think we did a good job of that – getting back in the running for the I-8 Conference,” Hauch said.

“When we play Westmont and Coal City again, I think we’re going to play them even tougher because we know we can beat them if we do.”

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