Boys Volleyball: Downers North too much for Metea to handle
Updated: March 22, 2012 8:35PM
Metea Valley is not ready to play with the big boys yet. But coach John Aister was making no excuses after his team’s 25-16, 25-15 loss Thursday at No. 7 Downers Grove North.
“We’re no longer a young team,” Aister said. “We can’t just say we’re young and inexperienced. We just got to get better.”
Metea Valley (2-1), in its third season as a program and just its second year playing a varsity schedule, got down 17-8 in Game 1 and did not record a kill until 6-4 junior Martin Krasuski put away an overpass at 24-15.
“They came out and hit us square in the face, right in the mouth,” said Aister, who was the setter on Wheaton Warrenville South’s first state championship team in 2001 that featured U.S. Olympian Sean Rooney. “Our eyes got a little big, no doubt about that.
“I thought we responded a little bit better in the second game, coming out and keeping it close the first 10 or 15 points,” he added. “We’re going to learn. It’s so early in the season. This week’s been a long week for us. We haven’t had a lot of practice time to fix the things we’ve been seeing on the court.”
Metea Valley was within 11-8 in Game 2, but a quick hitter by Troy Krafthefer, a block by Paul Noyosyolov and three consecutive errors put the Mustangs in a 16-8 hole. Mike Wieland (six kills, two aces) tried to rally the Mustangs, but to no avail.
“We have some good players, but I’m not necessarily sure we have anybody elite at this point like Downers North,” Aister said. “They have several very, very good players. So our game’s going to be a little different. It’s not going to be quite as powerful. It’s not going to be quite as fast.
“But if we can kind of control our side of the net as a team and put pressure on the other team to score points and keep these games close, I think we have a good team to do that,” he added. “It’s just going to take a variety of guys to step up. We need a better team effort.”
Downers North (3-0) got contributions from a lot of players, led by Noyosyolov (six kills, block, ace), JP Tulacka (five kills, two aces), Krafthefer (three kills, block) Zack Parik (seven assists, kill) and Chris George (seven assists).
“Like every team, we’ve been working on consistency,” Downers North coach Mark Wasik said. “We’re trying to maintain runs. Like we did against Naperville Central and Downers South, we’d go 2- or 3-point run and all of sudden you miss a serve or have a self-inflicted wound.
“We’re trying to prevent those things and recognize when we have a team with their backs against the wall,” he added. “If they earn a point, fine. Everyone’s conscientious about minimizing unforced errors right now. That’s the name of the game.”
Krasuski added three kills and an ace for Metea Valley, which will participate in the Joliet West tournament on Saturday.
“We’ll use the next couple of weeks and future tournaments to get better,” Aister said. “Hopefully, as the season progresses, we’ll be able to complete with teams that are playing at this level.”