Boys Volleyball: Glenbard West turns it up, topples St Patrick
Updated: April 11, 2012 9:14PM
The absence of Alex Kahn due to illness forced Glenbard West to dip into its bench Wednesday against visiting St. Patrick. The Shamrocks learned that there’s still a lot of firepower on the other side of the net even without the Hilltoppers’ 6-1 senior rightside.
Ian Lawson had eight kills and two blocks, lefty outside Joe Zaccaria added seven kills, 6-4 middle Scotty Thomas contributed five kills and Alex Emanuel added 20 assists as No. 3 Glenbard West defeated St. Patrick 25-22, 25-11.
“A good team uses its whole bench,” Glenbard West coach Christine Giunta-Mayer said. “You have to be able to go from your top to your bottom, and this team doesn’t really have a bottom. I put anybody in, trust anybody on the floor. As long as they’re trusting everybody on the floor, this team rolls.”
Zaccaria had three of his six kills in Game 1 as Glenbard West (7-1) raced to a 14-5 lead. However, five errors by the Hilltoppers contributed to a 10-4 run by the visitors, who closed to within 23-22 on a kill by 6-3 sophomore JP Berg.
“We were playing to the crowd in the first game, and when you play to the crowd, you don’t play well,” Giunta-Mayer said.
But Zaccaria smacked two more putaways down the stretch, and Lawson added back-to-back kills to turn back the Shamrocks.
“We’re a team,” Zaccaria said. “We can put anyone on the floor and we can win when we play well as a team. St. Patrick is a good team. They played very good defense. I think we mixed it up a little bit better in Game 2. We tried a few different shots and were utilizing all our weapons on the floor.”
Glenbard West came out a little tight after weathering the first-game storm and fell behind 4-3. Kills by Lawson and Thomas got Glenbard West ahead at 13-9, but Giunta-Mayer took a timeout anyway to settle down her troops.
“They were just swinging and not using all their other stuff,” she said. “After the timeout, the serve receive was pretty perfect and they started mixing up their shots a little bit, taking their line shot, focusing on the first line of defense. Then it just flowed.”
Meanwhile, while she knows that Glenbard West can survive in the short term, Giunta-Mayer would hate to lose Kahn for any extended period of time. She actually knew he wasn’t feeling well Saturday at Springfest when he was atypically quiet and in her words, “looking as white as a ghost.”
“Oh, I hope not,” she said. “We actually played tonight for him. He’s a huge presence. He’s lightning on the floor and a great kid. We just got to keep going, and when he comes, we welcome him back with open arms and we just go again.”
St. Patrick coach Julie Wiejak would gladly welcome back Ryan Fisher, but unfortunately, the 6-5 outside hitter graduated last year. She is still looking for somebody to step up and help take some of the heat off 6-foot senior outside Joey Williams, who finished with seven kills Wednesday.
“We did play real good defense on the big kid (Lawson), but our other outside is new and our middles are new so Joey’s been like nine games worth our only kill-getter,” she said. “This is match No. 10. He’s bound to have a bad match.
“No offense to him,” Wiejak added. “He still kept up his backrow play and he still blocked well. But I need somebody else getting kills. As great as you think it is when we shut down their best player and we’re playing pretty well, then your best outside hitter kind of lulls.
“You’re just like, ‘Where else am I going to make up that offense?’ ’’ she added. “Some nights, every other piece falls into place and the piece that has been secure falls out of place. That’s the luck of some of those situations.”