Boys Volleyball: West Aurora rallies to beat Naperville CentralJames McGrath (11) sets the ball towards West Aurora teammate Eric Roggeman (5) as Blackhawks libero Patrick Ronan watches from the floor. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
The Naperville Central boys volleyball team is caught in a classic dilemma. The players have to believe in order to succeed, and yet the Redhawks need to succeed more in order to build that belief.
On Tuesday, the Redhawks gave up an 8-3 first-set lead and then dropped a close two-set DuPage Valley Conference battle to visiting West Aurora 25-23, 25-22.
“Errors are keeping us from being more successful,” said Naperville Central coach Jeff Danbom. “We’re watching balls hit the floor. We’re still trying to find our rhythm and until we believe we can beat them, we’re not going to beat them.”
The Redhawks (10-14, 3-6) got off to a fast start that was helped by the Blackhawks missing their first three serves and committing a pair of net violations.
“We knew it would be competitive,” said West Aurora coach Tolis Koskinaris. “But it was a sloppy match. I don’t think either of us got into any kind of rhythm.”
However, after the initial run of errors, the Blackhawks settled down and executed a five-point run to tie the game at 8-8.
But the Redhawks grabbed the advantage back at 10-9 and held on, leading by as many as four points, until the Blackhawks caught them at 19 and went ahead for good on an Eric Roggeman kill.
“We’re just a come-from-behind team,” said Roggeman, who had a match-high 10 kills. “Even in practice every day we come from behind. If one team gets 24, the other team is going to score four or five points before the first team gets 25. We never give up. We just keep going.”
The second set was close all the way with numerous ties and lead changes and nobody building more than a two-point lead until West Aurora got some daylight at 19-16. But the Redhawks weren’t done as they battled to two more ties before conceding the final point.
“There were a lot of good things in that game for us to celebrate,” said Danbom. “We got some pretty good touches at the net and Collin Park had a good night attacking. But, we’re still trying to get to the place we want to be at this time of the year.”
Park led the Redhawks with nine kills and Jon Chiczewski had five. Lucas Parker led in digs with eight and Albert Lei contributed 18 assists and three kills.
Koskinaris praised the play of the Blackhaws Joe Frommert, who had six kills.
“Joe brought an energy at the net,” said Koskinaris. “When things were sloppy in the first game, he came through with some really big kills and really clean hits.”