Boys Volleyball: Naperville North battles past Naperville CentralNaperville North's Spencer Sauter puts a point past Naperville Central's Matt Krebs at Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Ill., on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 15, 2012 10:26PM
It was about this time a year ago when the Naperville North boys volleyball team went on a run to a second-place finish at state.
The Huskies think they are starting to piece together a similar stretch as they continued a late-season surge with a 27-25, 25-19 win at Naperville Central on Tuesday night.
The win gives North a sweep of the DuPage Valley Conference season series and helps continue to build momentum entering the postseason, which begins for both Naperville schools on Monday with regional semifinal matches.
North will play Proviso West at 5 p.m. at Glenbard West while Central will play Nazareth at 4:30 p.m. at Wheaton St. Francis.
“We all feel really prepared,” North senior outside attacker Spencer Sauter said. “A lot of the upper classmen have the playoff experience from a season ago, so we know what it is like. We have almost the same record as we did a year ago, so we think we’ll be able to put something together.”
The Redhawks appeared to have it all together in the first game as they twice were a point away from a win when North rallied to pull out the win.
“It was nice to see us battle back and forth,” said Central coach Jeff Danbom. “It was nice and tight on both sides. We really did a nice job controlling our passing and we gave ourselves second-chance opportunities. We had them on game-point, but it’s been a journey with this group about learning how to close games.”
North came out in the second game and never trailed.
The Huskies (23-10, 10-3) used the strong serving of junior setter Gert Lisha to take control. Lisha led North with five aces and 16 assists.
“We served tough and kept them out of a flow,” North coach Nathan Bornancin said. “Central came out fired up for senior night and we committed a lot of errors.
“We fought a few of their match points, which shows some resiliency. It was nice to see the guys come through when challenged at the end.”
The Redhawks (14-20, 4-9) have struggled consistency issues, but are back at full strength now that senior setter Albert Lei has returned from an ankle sprain.
“Albert’s injury took us back,” Danbom said. “We are still trying to find our way and clawing our way up.”
Lei led the Redhawks with 11 assists, seven digs and two kills. Junior Matt Krebs had five kills and senior John Cinzio had three kills and two blocks. Lucas Parker added five digs.
Sauter paced North with nine kills while Dan Koch and Matt Jennings each had three kills. CJ Kwak and Koch had seven digs.