Boys Volleyball: South Elgin’s rally produces a winSouth Elgin's Eric Dela Merced (24) and Nate Marotta (16) celebrate a point at South Elgin High School in South Elgin, Ill., on Monday, May 7, 2012.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: May 7, 2012 8:32PM
Nate Marotta and the South Elgin volleyball team on Monday found themselves in a familiar situation with a better result.
After fading with the lead in a tight match against Larkin last week, the Storm found a way to rally from behind at home against a St. Viator team that beat them earlier, and score a 25-16, 26-24 nonconference victory.
“In all honesty, it’s just been a real roller coaster season for us,” South Elgin coach Adam Plach said. “Unforced errors have been a big issue for us and I got a little worried at the end of the match there as we stepped back and were down two and it’s close to game point.
“We missed a couple serves and when it’s come to crunch time we’ve had a hard time performing. So even with a couple of those service errors we were able to make a good run.”
The Storm rallied from deficits of 18-12, 21-16, and 22-19 for the match-clinching victory in Game 2, and it was Marotta, a sophomore outside hitter who plays with the Sports Performance 16 Elites club, that produced most of the big plays at the net until the end of the second game.
Marotta had 14 kills and a block. But a dig with the match tied at 24 may have been the biggest play he made. It allowed senior Mario Salas the chance to make a kill for the Storm’s first lead of the second game. Then St. Viator’s Ryan Schiller dumped a hit into the net for match point.
“We lost to them (St. Viator) at the end of the Elk Grove tournament and everyone was kind of exhausted and we didn’t have a good game the one before that so everyone was kind of down,” Marotta said. “We were up today.
“Each home game I feel really alive because all my friends are here and the fans.”
Marotta had a stretch in the second game when he scored five of his team’s six points with kills to keep them in it, but they still trailed 23-21. The teams exchanged net serves, but Salas got the Storm within 24-23 with a kill, then Trevor Aguiniga had a kill prior to Salas’ kill at the end of the long volley for the 25-24 lead.
Marotta had five kills in the first game, as did Salas, who had nine on the match.
“Nate’s effectiveness depends on what kind of blocking team we see,” Plach said. “I feel they were actually a pretty good blocking team, but with Mario being able to run some offense, as well, in the middle, it kept them from being able to send all their guys to block on Nate.”
Setter Jake Dinneen had 28 assists, Trevor Aguiniga had six kills and Dan Riehle five digs while Dan Gibaldo recorded a pair of block kills for South Elgin.
Ben Wolf had three kills in Game 1 for St. Viator (13-12), and Tom Achele four kills in the second game.
The Storm is the 17th and last seed in the Elgin Sectional complex and opens play May 21 against rival Bartlett, which has beaten them twice handily.
“We’re making progress,” Marotta said. “We’re getting better each day and every game. I’m liking how our team is turning out at the end of the season.”