Boys Volleyball: Oak Park-River Forest impresses, knocks off St Francis
Updated: May 3, 2012 8:53PM
Ryan Ebersole led Oak Park-River Forest with 11 kills in a three-set nonconference victory at St. Francis Thursday night.
St. Francis coach Mike Lynch checked the IHSA’s website Thursday just before his home match against Oak Park-River Forest.
Lynch looked to see where his Spartans were seeded in the Wheaton Warrenville South Sectional, but also checked out what seed his opponent earned.
“They are a No. 1 seed and we’re a No. 10 seed in a tough sectional,” Lynch said. “It’s good to play a No. 1 seed. It should make us better.”
Oak Park-River Forest lived up to is No. 1 seed at St. Francis. Ryan Ebersole had a match-high 11 kills and Diego Rodriguez-Guerrios had 25 assists in a 22-25, 25-21, 25-21 victory. The Huskies (18-9) earned the top seed at the De La Salle Sectional while the Spartans (22-10) rank behind DuPage Valley Conference and West Suburban Silver powers at the WW South Sectional.
The complete pairings for the postseason will be released at 4 p.m. Friday.
OPRF began its comeback in the second set when the Huskies scored five consecutive points to take a 22-19 lead. St. Francis led 12-7 earlier in the set, but OPRF answered with four straight points, which included a pair of kills by Ethan Thomas (seven kills, three blocks). Thomas, a 6-3 senior middle hitter, had more blocks than St. Francis’ entire team (two).
“Coach [Don August] told us what to do, what to chance to get back in the game and we executed,” said Rodriguez-Guerrios, who will walk-on at Loyola next season.
The Huskies came back in the third set after the Spartans took a 14-12 lead. Another five-point run boosted OPRF with a hitting error to put the Huskies ahead 17-14. That last point included Rodriguez-Guerrios’ only hitting attempt of the match when he took a set from right-side hitter Levi Algozino, but could not get the ball down.
OPRF scored five of the last six points to end the match. Mark Carioscio added six kills and George Burgi, Rodriguez-Guerrios and Algozino had four kills each.
Ryan Coyle led the Spartans with 10 kills and Joey Trunk and Jeff Jendryk had five kills each.
“They were more aggressive,” Coyle said. “They were not afraid to make mistakes. What hurt us was missed balls, we let balls drop and we missed serves.”
St. Francis scored five-of-six points to end the first set, but fell behind 10-4 to open the next set.
“We got tentative. It’s the time of the year when you can’t get tentative,” Lynch said. “The team needs to push harder.”
Rodriguez-Guerrios, who transferred from Puerto Rico for his junior year, hoped to stay somewhere close to his new home for college. He lives with his aunt Eneida and plans on having his parents move to the Chicago area within the next two years.
“It’s very good when I heard the coach wanted me. I always wanted to go to Loyola,” said Rodriguez-Guerrios, who plans to major in business or premed.