Sandburg too tough for Brother RiceSandburg's Kevin Groeper battles Brother Rice's Dan Weishar. | Art Vassy~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 17, 2011 10:11PM
Closing out the regular season, Brother Rice’s volleyball schedule certainly will test the Crusaders as the team heads into its first trip to the Sandburg Sectional.
Starting Tuesday, Rice opened a stretch of three matches in four days against Sandburg (No. 1 in the sectional), Providence (No. 4) and Marist (No. 2).
Brother Rice came out strong against the Eagles, taking the first game but host Sandburg settled in, ultimately winning 22-25, 25-16, 25-18 on Senior Night.
“We want to play the best teams at the end of the season,” Rice assistant coach Dan Dwyer said. “We want to play teams in our sectional to get a feel, to get a look at what other teams are doing.”
Brother Rice coach Br. Paul Ickes missed Tuesday’s game because of a medical issue.
Sandburg (31-3) was led by Andrew Muys (11 kills), Scott Fifer (28 assists), Kevin Groeper (10 kills) and Tommy Carmody (9 blocks).
Matt Kill led Brother Rice (15-12) with eight kills. Brian Pomorski (7 kills, 13 digs), Dan Weishar (6 kills), Colin Denny (5 kills) and Mike Noyes (23 assists) also chipped in.
Trailing 22-21 late in Game 1, the Crusaders took advantage of two Sandburg errors to regain the lead. Steve Landis’ ace and Ryan Paull’s block closed out the first game.
Sandburg responded in Game 2, winning in dominant fashion.
Muys and Carmody set the tone for the Eagles in Game 3. In helping Sandburg to an 8-4 lead, Muys had two kills while Carmody added three blocks.
“Our height obviously helps us a lot,” Muys said. “Tommy’s 6-foot-9, I’m 6-6, Bill Siroky is 6-6. It just helps. We’re playing well now. We just need to work on our serving.”
Brother Rice drew no closer than four points the rest of the way, the final time at 20-16. Adam Davids came off the bench to power home five kills in the third game for Sandburg.
“We have enough talent to settle into the game and once we get into that mode, offensively I feel like we’re one of the best teams around,” Sandburg coach Sean Airola said. “We have all the weapons to do it. It’s just a matter of getting our serves in and get the passing going.”
Brother Rice will play Providence today for a share of the Catholic League title.
“We’re anxious to get back on the court because we know we can fix what went wrong,” Dwyer said.