WOODSTOCK – Considering how young her Richmond-Burton volleyball team is, Laura Karamitos has gotten used to what seems to be a constant case of built-in jitters.
So when the Rockets fell behind Harvard in the second set on their Class 3A regional quarterfinal match on Monday night, Karamitos knew they'd have to find a way to play through some adversity.
She didn't expect a sophomore would help turn the tide.
Setter Jessie Duncan served up 11 straight points, sparking No. 3-seeded R-B in a come-from-behind 25-22 victory that closed out the Rockets' sweep and moved them into Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. regional semifinal against No. 2-seeded Marian Central at Woodstock North.
"I just wanted to get the momentum back," Duncan said "It was frustrating me that we couldn't get back (on track). It was the little things we were messing up on. We know we're going to make mistakes, but we have to get over it."
The Rockets (23-13) handled Harvard 25-19 in the opening set, building around senior Ali Frantti, who led R-B with 16 kills and six digs. But Harvard quickly jumped out to an 11-3 lead to start the second set and build its advantage to 16-8 when Duncan settled in.
By the time she was finished, R-B led 19-17, then the two teams battled back and forth before the Rockets closed out the match. With the pressure of the opening round out of the way, the Rockets expect not to have to fight through the anxiety they experienced Monday night against the No. 2-seeded Hurricanes.
"It was nice to get the nerves out," Frantti said. "You never know what these playoffs are going to bring. When we were down, I felt like our team bounced back and I think that's the team that will be able to continue playing on."