Boys Volleyball: Maine South captures invite, rolls into regionals
Updated: May 19, 2012 5:46PM
A not-so-funny thing happened to Loyola on its way to the championship match of the 21st annual Hawk Invitational Saturday in Park Ridge. The Ramblers were upset by Hersey 25-23, 15-25, 17-15 in their final match of the Red pool.
But anyone expecting Hersey to advance to the championship was also mistaken. The Huskies were upended by Black pool runner-up Maine East 17-25, 25-19, 15-9 in a crossover match of the eight-team tournament.
Maine East, which lost to Maine South 25-11, 25-17 in pool play, put up a tougher fight in the title game, but the Hawks hung on to defeat the Blue Demons for the second time in five hours, 25-22, 25-23.
Nate Wolf led Maine South (25-9) with 10 kills and a block, Scotty Adamczyk added eight kills, a block and an ace, and Matt Garvey collected 22 assists and three blocks.
The Hawks, who are seeded third in the Glenbrook North sectional, will carry a five-game winning streak into next week’s regional at Evanston.
“I think we’re ready for next week,” Wolf said. “It’s good to catch some fire at the end of the season. I think we’re playing our best volleyball right now. It’s all about starting strong at the beginning of matches. I think we did that for the most part today.
“Maine East is our crosstown rivals and they’re pretty good this year,” he added. “They come out with a lot of fire and energy. If they get the lead, it’s tough to put them away. We fought through a little deficit at the beginning of the second game and pulled through.”
A kill by Maine East’s Artur Theil had the Demons even at 8-8 in Game 1, but the Hawks went on a 13-5 run to enjoy their biggest lead of the match at 21-13. Maine East answered with six straight points of its own to get within 21-19, but Wolf provided three kills to turn back the visitors.
Maine East (21-14) grabbed an early 9-4 lead in game 2, but South caught fire and another kill by Wolf capped a 13-6 outburst. Angel Mandrazhiev’s ace got Maine East within 24-23, but Adamczyk’s roll shot closed out the match.
Maine East coach Jon Kulesza said the difference between the earlier match and the title bout was execution.
“In the first match, we couldn’t control the volleyball and get it to our setter,” he said. “When that happens, you can’t run you offense. You become predictable, and they got a solid block and solid back row players.
“But if you get the ball to your setter, you’re able to be creative on offense and you confuse the defense a little more,” Kulesza said. “We did that in the second match. We passed better, and I also thought we put a little more pressure on them with our serve to slow their offense down.”
Theil had seven kills, Greg Siemienczuk added six kills and Jon Coldea had 18 assists and an ace for Maine East. Mike Hopkins and Adam Forbes each had three kills for Maine South.
“I do like this tournament right before the state tournament,” Maine South coach Gary Grannell said. “It gives us a lot of repetitions and a lot of ball touches before playoffs begin. I think it’s a momentum-builder. We’re going into the playoffs with a five-game winning streak and I think that’s good for us.”
Loyola (26-9) bounced back from its loss in pool play and a 25-22, 21-25, 15-9 setback to Maine South in a crossover match to defeat Hersey 25-11, 25-11 for third place.