Boys Volleyball: Edvinas Karalius keys Richards’ comeback win
Updated: April 26, 2012 8:00PM
While he admitted he was nervous, Richards’ Edvinas Karalius was just trying to do what the coaches told him.
Focus on blocking and then block some more.
The sophomore middle took the message to heart, coming through with two huge blocks, teaming up for a third and adding a kill late to jump-start an impressive comeback in Richards’ 25-19, 26-24 win at Shepard in a South Suburban crossover Thursday.
“Whenever the coaches tell us something, I’m trying to keep it in mind,” Karalius said. “Just remember it for next time on the next play. Just trying to get up there for a block.”
Nick Costa (eight kills, 14 digs), Jeremy Norton (six kills), Dan Krasich (25 assists) and Ramiro Ledesma (12 digs) contributed for Richards (14-5, 10-0). Nick Ebert (11 digs), Steve Martinez (eight kills), Pat Neylon (20 assists) and Dan Taylor (six kills) led Shepard (9-12, 5-5).
“Unless we start blocking, we’re not going to keep winning,” Richards coach Troy Grevengoed said. “That’s why we won because when we needed to, we got two or three big blocks.”
Richards trailed for much of Game 2 having dominated the opener. Shepard held a six-point advantage at three different points in the second game, including a 21-16 advantage late.
Quiet at the net up to that point, Karalius stepped up. His first kill of the match was quickly followed by two blocks with Ben Tocila and then a solo block of his own.
Kicked off by Karalius’ play at the net, Richards closed on a 10-3 run for the winner.
“Our digging was better, and our blocking stepped up a bit,” Karalius said. “We started putting the balls down.”
Even in the defeat, Shepard came away pleased with the effort. The Astros finished 6-17 last year and have already eclipsed the win total.
“It was the best game of our season so far,” Taylor said. “It was clicking for us today. As for the record, we’re so far ahead of where we were last year.”