Boys Volleyball: Larkin uses strong runs to topple Elgin

Story Image Larkin's Zach Banning (left) and Trey Ridings block a shot in front of Elgin's Greg Gardner (15) for the final point of the first game of their regional playoff game at Larkin High School Monday. Larkin won the match in 2 games 25-13, 25-10. May 21, 2012. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
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Updated: May 21, 2012 10:42PM

Larkin defeated crosstown rival Elgin in straight sets 25-13 and 25-10, as the Royals began what they hope will be a long postseason run with a convincing win in opening -round action at the Larkin Regional.

Larkin moves on to face No. 2 Lake Park on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

The victory gave the Royals (10-17) a season sweep of the Maroons (7-28), and Larkin’s season has really taken off since its first victory over Elgin back on April 10. The Royals were 1-14 entering that match and have gone 9-3 since.

“I guarantee Elgin wanted so badly to knock us out of regionals after we beat them twice and playing on our home court, but our guys came through and got the win,” said Royals coach Henry Graack.

The Maroons jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the first game of the match, but the Royals quickly took control of things with a 12-1 run.

Three straight points from the Maroons later in the game closed the gap to 17-11, but the Royals put them away from there with an 8-2 run to close things out.

Game 2 was all Royals as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead and only allowed consecutive points to the Maroons once all game on their way to a decisive 25-10 win.

The loss marks the end of the season for the Maroons, and the end of all-conference setter Angel Hernandez’s time with the team, as he tallied seven assists in the loss.

“(Angel) set for two years on varsity, he managed my girls’ team, he’s been my setter all four years and I’ve never coached a boys team that didn’t have Angel as my setter, so that’ll be different,” said Maroons coach Scott Stewart.

For the Royals, the serve game has been a sore spot all season, but they managed to keep the errors to a minimum and got a terrific performance from senior all-conference selection Dylan Martinez, who tallied five aces on the night.

“Getting serves in and not handing the other team points is still a focus for us,” said Graack. “Dylan really started getting his serves down on Saturday, and he was serving tough and came through for us today. The more time he spends serving, the better off we are.”

Tim Yang (10 assists) and Max Rydell (seven assists) led the setting game for the Royals, while T.J. Weaver and Trey Ridings each tallied five kills to lead the team.

Junior middle hitter Keith Turner had six kills for the Maroons.

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