Boys Volleyball: Richards tops Eisenhower, gets share of conference
For Richards’ Jeremy Norton and his teammates, the year 1992 has taken on a special meaning.
The Bulldogs won the program’s only conference title in 1992. Since then? Not a one.
Courtesy of a 25-19, 25-16 home win Monday over Eisenhower, Richards clinched at least a share of the South Suburban title.
“It’s been 20 years since 1992, and we got it,” Norton said with a smile. “I’ve wanted this for three years now, and we finally got it. We just need one more.”
With one win over the team’s remaining three conference matches, Richards will take the conference title outright. For coach Troy Grevengoed, the title means everything.
“It means a ton for myself and the program,” Grevengoed said. “My first season nine years ago we were 3-28, and not having a title since 1992, it’s been wearing on us a long time. It’s been our motivation this year.”
Nick Costa (10 kills), Norton (8 kills, 7 digs), Dan Krasich (25 assists) and Ben Tocila (8 digs, 5 kills) led Richards (17-5, 13-0). Jordan Lopez (8 kills), Mahonri Saldana (4 kills, 4 blocks) and Edgar Hernandez (21 assists) contributed for Eisenhower (16-10, 7-6).
Richards was able to blow open close scores in both games, ending the opener on a 15-6 run with Costa and Tocila leading the way. The blocking at the net picked up in Game 2, and from there conference was in reach, the Bulldogs closing on an 11-3 run.
“As soon as we started blocked our energy kicked in,” Norton said. “Then our passes were there, and we didn’t have any more hitting errors.”
Eisenhower is one win away from a program-record 17 wins. The Cardinals have just two seniors on the roster.
“We were hitting well against them,” Eisenhower coach Stan Natonek said. “Every match you’ll have a chance to make that exceptional dig, and it just didn’t happen for us tonight.”