Comets rally, win thriller at Riverside

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 17, 2009



After five games against an archrival from right down the road, you’d have expected the Comets ‘ Meg Gustafson to be a little tired out.

But after SCC clinched the 15th and final point of the fifth game tiebreaker against on teammate Courtney Western’s tip, she rode an adrenaline rush all through the post game activities as the Comets walked away with a 25-23, 23-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-9 district win in front of a packed gym at Riverside.

The win lifted the Comets into sole possession of second place in District 7-IV.

It was the first district game between the schools in any sport since SCC moved back to Class 2A from 3A, where it stood the past two seasons.

“It feels so amazing,” said Gustafson, who had 20 kills and five blocks in the match to lead SCC. “I felt like I couldn’t go anymore. After (clinching the win), I feel like I could go three more. It’s the best high in the world.”

Western racked up 37 assists to lead all players.

She was actually seeking her 38th when she tipped home the winning point into a hole in the Rebel defense.

“I was looking to set the ball, but I was so close to the net,” Western said. “So I just put it over. Luckily, nobody was right there.”

Rachael McNulty and Kadie Levatino each had 27 digs for St. Charles (9-13, 3-1). Gustafson, Levatino, Western and Cori Hebert each collected three aces.

The Rebels’ Shea LaFountain was the leading hitter in the match with 23 kills. Aimee Williamson had 45 digs and four aces. Kaitlyn Millet added 12 kills and 17 assists. Kelsi Roussel had 20 assists.

The fifth game began with an apparent Riverside point on a Kristy Milioto ace, but it was overturned due to a violation.

“I think that gave them the momentum,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert.

It seemed like it, as the Comets jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The Rebels scored two to cut into the lead – including a LaFountain spike – but then the Comets’ Kadie Levatino stepped to the serving line.

She wouldn’t step away until SCC had scored eight straight points. Her first two aces of the final game made it 8-3. SCC scored its 10th point on a play kept alive by a Jaymie Remondet block. Two more Levatino aces made it 12-3, and Remondet slammed home a kill to cap the run.

After two Rebel points, McNulty’s kill put the Comets within one of clinching. The Rebels were tough to put away though – an ace by LaFountain, a kill by Millet, and a McNulty spike attempt that sailed too long kept the Rebels alive.

“I was a little worried at the end,” said SCC coach Kelly Cupit. “We just couldn’t seal it.”

But then Western came though to do just that.

“I knew we could get the momentum back that we had in our first game,” said Western. “We had to fight and push through.”

St. Charles led by as many as five in the first game, but Riverside rallied to tie things up at 22 on a Millet kill. Remondet scored on a tip, Millet answered with another kill. But two Rebel errors put SCC ahead 1-0.

Riverside started hot in the second game, jumping out to a 10-4 lead. The Comets rallied though, and regained the lead – 14-13 – on back-to-back kills by Gustafson.

Riverside went ahead 18-17 on a LaFountain kill, then kept the Comets at arm’s length. Two long Comet returns gave the Rebels’ leads of 23-19 and 24-20 before Milioto slammed home a kill to clinch the win.

The third game was all Rebels. RA led 17-9 at one point, before a late Comet rally closed the gap. A LaFountain spike for the 25th point gave RA a 2-1 lead.

The fourth game was a repeat of the third, only with the roles reversed. SCC never trailed and built a 20-11 lead before Gustafson’s tip wrapped up the game’s clinching point.

“This was much needed,” said Cupit. “This is the team that I’ve waited for all season. They deserve this.”

Said Hebert: “The good news is we’ve got a rematch, and another round of district to go.”

CURTIS TOPS SCC: John Curtis hosted St. Charles on Tuesday and came away with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-21 district victory.

The Patriots are first in District 7-IV with a 3-0 district record.

Western had 14 assists, Levatino had 14 digs, and Remondet had six kills for SCC.

For Curtis, Ashley Henderson had 14 kills. Jessica Jason had 24 digs and Lindsay Scallon had 29 assists.

“We didn’t get a jump early on and we kept having to fight back,” said Cupit. “They are a good team, and we can compete with them. If a couple of calls would have went the other way and if we capitalized on a couple of opportunities the game would have ended differently. But we’ll be ready to play them again on our home court.”