Boys Volleyball: Streaking Benet upsets Downers North
Updated: May 2, 2012 9:23PM
With the exception of a small hiccup Saturday against Waubonsie Valley — a team it had beaten less than 24 hours earlier — there may be no hotter team around right now than Benet.
And there may be no hotter outside hitting combination than 6-5 senior Bobby Wehrli and 6-1 senior Luke Ladowski,
Wehrli had 17 kills, Ladowski added 14 kills and junior setter Pat Dougherty had 34 assists as No. 11 Benet won for the 12th time in its last 13 matches, defeating No. 7 Downers Grove North 25-20, 23-25, 25-18 Tuesday in Downers Grove.
“This was a huge game for us,” Wehrli said. “We know how good of a team Downers North is. We knew that they are a top 10 team in the state and we were right on the brink of breaking into that, so it’s definitely huge win for us.”
The first two games were tight early, but Benet (24-5) used an 11-5 run in Game 1 to build a 19-13 lead on back-to-back Wehrli bombs. Ladowski’s kill got Benet even at 17-all in Game 2, but a 4-0 spurt by the hosts which included a Quinn Lueder kill and a Zach Parik block forced a third set.
“The coaches told us between games that you have two great teams coming together, going back and forth, we just needed to get our energy back up and come out strong in the third game,” Wehrli said.
With the third set tied at 3-3, Benet used an 11-4 run capped by consecutive Ladowski kills and a Dougherty block to force a Downers North timeout, but the hosts could get no closer than 15-10 on another Lueder quick hit.
A kill by Wehrli allowed Benet to open a 21-13 lead, and 6-2 senior middle Matt Conroy put the match away with his fourth kill of the match.
“Downers Grove North is a great team,” Benet coach Amy Van Eekeren said. “Coming in tonight and playing as well as we did and being able to take a three-set match from them says a lot about our team and where we’re at this point of the season.”
JP Tulacka Led Downers North (23-5) with 10 kills and four blocks and Parik added 19 assists, four kills and two blocks. But Downers North coach Mark Wasik said his team’s problems started in back, not up front.
“Serve receive,” he said. “It always comes down to basics. We did not pass, and as a result, we couldn’t bring a formidable attack. Benet’s got too potent of an offense, particularly on the outside, to not to be able to execute on our side.
“That what we did better in Game 2, which neutralized them a little bit and we really blocked well as a result of that,” he added. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, the team that passes better probably is going to win at this level when you’re facing top-notch competition.”