Boys Volleyball: Naperville North bounces back to top West AuroraWest Aurora's Eric Roggeman spikes the ball against Naperville North on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 17, 2012 9:24PM
As it turned out, West Aurora’s comeback victory in the first set against Naperville North simply woke up the visiting Huskies.
After the two teams switched sides of the net, the Huskies overwhelmed West and claimed a 23-25, 25-15, 25-16 victory Tuesday in DuPage Valley Conference action.
The victory by North sets up a rivalry matchup tomorrow night with Naperville Central.
“I switched things up after the first game by putting in Kyle Losik as an outside hitter,” Naperville North coach Nathan Bornancin said. “He didn’t blow you away with stats, but he didn’t make any errors and was a calming influence out there. And he’s used to starting, not coming off the bench, so his performance was that much more impressive.”
The Blackhawks dug themselves a big hole in the second and third sets and never held the lead. It was the Huskies’ defense that set the tone.
After West’s outside hitter David Vasquez (13 kills) had two kills to narrow the North lead to 6-4 in the second set, the Huskies got a pair of blocks by Matt Jennings and another by Gert Lisha to put Naperville North up 9-4.
From that point, the tall front line of the Huskies went to work. Spencer Sauter (9 kills) put down a pair of kills, and Trevor Stables and Jennings also displayed their power. Sauter put the win away with a kill, and the Blackhawks (10-5, 3-2) saw their three-game conference win streak come to an end.
The final set was much like the second, with the Huskies jumping out to an 8-2 lead. Naperville North (9-6, 3-2) diversified its power game with Jennings matching Sauter with nine kills, and Stables and Dan Koch contributing six and five kills, respectively.
“We moved the ball around really well today,” said Bornancin. “Any time you have four hitters with five or more kills, that’s good to see. West Aurora always plays us tough. They took us to three (sets) last time we were here, and we finished second in the state last year.”
When Vasquez and Eric Roggeman (19 kills) went up at the net for the Blackhawks, they had to get the ball around North’s imposing wall, which forced a number of balls to be hit out. West Aurora kept the score even over the set’s final nine points, but Jon Vogel hit off a Blackhawk block for the match-winner.
“They passed better than us and they blocked better than us, and that’s a bad combination,” said West Aurora coach Tolis Koskinaris of the Huskies. “We didn’t come out of that first game with the right mindset. We seemed to think that they would fall apart.”
The Huskies received equal contributions from setters Matt Thornton (13 assists) and Gert Lisha (10 assists). Lisha also recorded five blocks.
West clawed back from a 19-14 deficit in the opener, scoring the last three points as the Huskies committed a violation and hit a pair of balls out.
Libero Patrick Ronan was a bright spot for West Aurora, making a number of difficult digs.