Boys Volleyball: Richards wins battle of Oak Lawn
Updated: April 12, 2012 9:59PM
Richards’ Nick Costa couldn’t quite put a finger on it.
Maybe it was the rivalry, the battle for Oak Lawn, or maybe the Bulldogs were just playing well. But coming into Thursday’s South Suburban match at Oak Lawn, Costa wanted this win — and wanted it badly.
The junior outside hitter delivered, slamming 23 kills and serving five aces for Richards in a 25-23, 18-25, 25-17 victory.
“I came into today wanting to beat Oak Lawn so bad,” Costa said. “I had the mind-set of placing the ball around the court and getting the kills.”
Dan Krasich (41 assists, five aces), Ramiro Ledesma (14 digs) and Jeremy Norton (eight kills) contributed for Richards (11-5, 7-0). There was no doubt, though, Costa was the star on offense.
“Nick has grown a lot as a hitter because it used to be just power,” Richards coach Troy Grevengoed said. “He’s learning that control game, and tonight he was just on.”
Having lost Game 1, Oak Lawn came out on fire in the second, leading by as many as 10 points. Richards wasn’t going to let its undefeated conference record slip away, though. Costa had four early kills in Game 2 as the Bulldogs went up 18-9, with Norton helping close out the win late with three straight kills.
“Our passing and blocking stepped up all over,” Costa said. “We were a little flat in Game 2, but we came out fired up.”
Marc Hansen (13 kills), Sam Bernier (26 assists), Marcin Szczepaniak (seven kills), and Sean Dunne (eight kills) led Oak Lawn (8-9, 5-2). The Spartans have five juniors seeing significant court time.
“When Richards got in a funk in the second game, we got hot,” Oak Lawn coach Ryan Skendzel said. “We were playing with some energy, but we couldn’t stop Costa in the third. The juniors are stepping up, though, and we’re coming along.”