Boys Volleyball: Brother Rice ousts rival Marist

Updated: May 23, 2012 8:33PM

Wrapping up both teams’ regular season last week, Brother Rice soundly defeated host Marist in two quick games.

All the while the Crusaders knew though that a possible rematch loomed if both teams advanced to the Brother Rice Regional final, meaning that regular season win didn’t mean much.

Playing for the second time this season, Brother Rice showed the first win was no fluke. Hosting Marist Wednesday, the Crusaders used a dominant Game 2 to take a 25-23, 25-9 win.

The regional title was the first since 2010.

“We kind of saw (a performance like that) last week, but this one was on our home court,” Brother Rice’s Joe Pochinskas said. “It was for (coach) Br. Paul Ickes, and it was just unbelievable.”

Pochinskas and Mitch Weiler had six kills apiece for Brother Rice (25-12) with Cody Leahy (10 digs), Dan Dwyer (16 assists) and Ryan Paull (three kills, three blocks) contributing.

Brother Rice will play Lincoln-Way North at Friday at 6:30 p.m. in a semifinal at the Lincoln-Way East Sectional.

Tony Natalino (four kills, four blocks), Tim Small (eight digs) and John Yerkes (four kills) paced Marist (23-14).

Narrowly pulling out a back-and-forth win in Game 1, Paull and the Crusaders left no doubt in Game 2. Three Paull blocks and a kill highlighted a dominating 9-0 game-opening run. The Crusaders steamrolled to the win, going up 14-1 and eventually had their biggest lead at 24-5.

“I don’t know if it was chemistry, or we just got ticked off,” Paull said. “It worked out really well. I think we just started working with the whole court.”

This is the first season since 2007 Marist has not advanced to the sectional.

“We were a play away in Game 1, and it went the other way,” Marist coach Bob St. Leger said. “When it started to go, there was no reason it happened. Give Rice credit, but in that second game all they had to do was serve it over the net. It was one error after another.”

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