Boys Volleyball: Peaking Naperville North defeats West Aurora
Updated: May 10, 2012 9:40PM
The way the Naperville North volleyball team is playing is “so last year.”
With playoffs fast approaching, the Huskies are peaking at just the right time, as evidenced by Thursday’s 25-20, 25-18 win over visiting DuPage Valley Conference rival West Aurora.
In 2011 the Huskies caught fire late in the season and rode the momentum right to the state championship game and a second place finish at state.
The Huskies are now 22-10 overall and 9-3 in conference, after a rocky 2-4 start to the season.
“We’re starting to get on a roll that will hopefully carry over to the sectional of death,” Naperville North coach Nate Bornancin said of the Wheaton Warrenville South Sectional where the Huskies are seeded ninth.
Bornancin attributes a lot of the team’s recent success to the “guys just getting used to playing together.”
“Our setter Gert Lisha has developed confidence in all our hitters and they have confidence in him,” Bornancin said. “When you have five new starters as we had at the beginning of the season, you wonder what’s going to happen. But the way we’re playing now is a tribute to how hard the kids have worked.”
“All of our hitters are capable of putting the ball away,” the Huskies’ Dan Koch said. “And our strong blocking is vital to our offense.”
Early in Game 1 Thursday the Blackhawks (17-10, 7-5) hung with the Huskies but Naperville North opened up a 14-10 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way.
Game 2 was also close with the Blackhawks leading at 16-15, when the Huskies got the side-out to tie it. They then put up seven straight points with CJ Kwak at the service line. Kwak with an ace and a pair of Matt Jennings block-kills were keys to the surge.
The balanced Huskies offense was led by Koch and Spencer Sauter each with eight kills with Trevor Stables adding six. Jennings had three kills and three blocks. Lisha dealt 24 assists and also had three blocks, while Nikolai Jackowski was the dig-leader with 8.
West Aurora was led by Eric Roggeman with a match-high 12 kills and he put away a pair of aces. Patrick Ronan had 16 digs for the Blackhawks.
“We have gotten better since the beginning of the season,” Ronan said. “Their passing and blocking made a big difference, and toward the end our passing fell apart.’’
“I thought we played pretty well,” West Aurora coach Tolis Koskinaris said. “But they played a little better than us. We were tied at 16 and that seven-point run they made was suicide for us. They’re in good form right now.”
The Blackhawks are seeded No. 11 in the sectional.