Boys Volleyball: Royer brothers power Lincoln-Way East past Neuqua Valley
Updated: April 25, 2012 8:43PM
It helps when your best hitter is on the same page with your setter.
It’s even better when they’re related.
Lincoln-Way East’s senior outside hitter Nate Royer had 14 kills and sophomore brother Austin Royer had 32 assists to lead the No. 3 Griffins to a 25-14, 19-25, 25-12 victory over the Wildcats Wednesday in Naperville.
Nate Royer had six kills in Game 3 including three early in the set that helped the visitors re-establish their dominance.
“We like to set everyone, get the middles involved, too, keep it going around,” Nate Royer said. “He (Austin) knows where to get it, and that’s good. We have a family bond, I guess. It gets us on the same page a lot of times.”
The two Royers had to read from the same book in Game 3 after Neuqua Valley (15-4) bounced back from a Game 1 whipping to handily win Game 2 behind Jake Gerald (eight kills, two blocks) and Joseph Michael (five kills, three blocks and an ace).
The hosts built a 10-4 lead in the second set and extended to a 19-12 advantage before Lincoln-Way East (20-3) mounted a three-point run. But the fifth service error of the game by the Griffins and back-to-back blocks by Gerald and Michael forced a Game 3.
“The two most important parts of our team are serve-receive and serving,” Lincoln-Way East coach Kris Fiore said. “The both completely fell apart in the second game. Every time we’d inch close to getting a run, we’d serve 10 feet out of bounds.
“When both of those things break down as bad as they did, you go from being a good team to being a very average team at best,” he added. “They took advantage and they played very well in that second game.”
But the Neuqua Valley celebration was short-lived. Three kills by Nate Royer allowed the visitors to break out to a 9-4 lead, and after he contributed three more kills to extend the advantage to 14-9, he provided four consecutive service points to put the game out of reach.
“Before the third game we talked about the match-up Nate had,” Fiore said. “We had him matched up on their setter for two out of three rotations. So we kept telling Austin to throw it up nice and high and for Nate hit high because he had the advantage.”
Kevin McClafferty added eight kills and two blocks, Erik Stanek had four kills and Jake Tomaras had 15 digs for Lincoln-Way East. Ryan Cahill had 20 assists and Thomas Stevens had five kills and a block for Neuqua Valley.