Boys Volleyball: Buffalo Grove gets past Elk Grove
Updated: April 24, 2012 10:30PM
There have not been many forgettable nights in conference play for Buffalo Grove’s Sam Wacker. That’s why he remembers them so well.
“I remember we lost to Fremd in the conference championship my freshman year,” the 6-foot-7 Wacker said. “It was one of the worst feelings ever. Now being a senior, losing in the regular season in conference (to Elk Grove), that was worst feeling ever.
“It was tough,” he added. “It was a tough loss. But it motivated all of us. It gave us a reason to beat them this time.”
Buffalo Grove, which had not lost in the Mid-Suburban East since 2007 prior to its first meeting with Elk Grove earlier this season, got a measure of revenge Tuesday night by defeating the Grenadiers 25-16, 17-25, 25-18 on front of a raucous crowd at Elk Grove.
Scott Swedberg led the Bison (15-8, 5-1) with nine kills and three blocks, Wacker and Matt Bloom each had seven kills and Evan Brunetto added six kills. Michael Maley had 21 digs and Chris Szewczyk added 17 assists.
“We’ve made some changes,” said Wacker, who led the Bison to a fourth-place finish at last weekend’s Smack Attack. “I think everyone is where they’re supposed to be. I’ve moved around, (6-7 senior) Michael Starzec moved around. We’re feeling comfortable in our positions and playing well as a team.”
Buffalo Grove ran away with Game 1, building an 18-10 lead and closing the set on a kill by Swedberg. But Elk Grove countered with a dominant performance of its own in Game 2, racing to an 18-10 lead and sealing the set with a block by Michal Kawa.
But the Bison shook off the Game 2 thumping, and after Elk Grove scored five unanswered points to pull within 12-10, Buffalo Grove answered with a 10-4 run. Maley’s ace at match point pulled Buffalo Grove even in the division chase.
“After they got within 12-10, we realized they weren’t going to make it easy for us,” Wacker said. “They weren’t going to give it to us. We knew to win, we had to take it.”
Kawa paced Elk Grove (19-4, 5-1), which had an 18-match winning streak snapped, with 17 kills and four blocks. Aaron Kraus added seven kills, Jake Gatziolis had six kills and Jeff Miceli added 24 assists and four kills.
“I warned the kids about this night yesterday,” Elk Grove coach Dan Windholz said. “I knew it was going to be emotional. We ended their streak and they wanted to end ours. I knew it was going to be a battle for the conference. I didn’t think it was going to be three blowout games. I thought they’d be close.
“I told my kids they were going to come in and they had to have this match. Our kids played hard, but I don’t think they played with the same intensity as the first time. Plus, I think some of my younger guys aren’t used to this type of atmosphere. Buffalo Grove is on this stage every year. It’s new for us.
“Emotions got the best of us tonight,” Windholz added.