Boys Volleyball: Glenbrook North holds off Minooka in state semi
Updated: June 2, 2012 5:23PM
Luke Jacobson’s thunderous, nearly-vertical kill might not have been the difference in the match, but it sure felt like it was.
Jacobson’s kill helped Glenbrook North fight off one set point at 24-22 in Game 2 of its IHSA boys state volleyball tournament semifinal match with Minooka, and after a hitting error by the Indians erased the second, the Spartans went on to defeat Minooka 25-19, 27-25 Saturday at Hoffman Estates.
With the win, Glenbrook North advanced to its first championship match appearance since 2004 when the Spartans lost 25-16, 25-19 to WW South.
Jacobson said he could sense a little deflation on the other side of the net after his kill, which was part of an 8-3 burst to close out the match
“I think it took a little bit of air out of them,” he said. “A kill like that is easily a momentum shift. The crowd went nuts. We go nuts. Immediately, it picks our spirits up. Any doubts we had before that are going and we’re thinking, ‘We’re going to win. We’re going to win.
“It was a perfect moment,” he added.
“Timing is everything,” Glenbrook North coach Chris Cooper said.
Glenbrook North (38-3) led wire-to-wire in Game 1, building an 18-11 lead although Minooka got within 21-17 on a Spartan error. However, the Indians used that momentum from the end of Game 1 to grab an early 8-4 lead in Game 2.
The Spartans eventually got even at 18-18, but two kills by Minooka’s Rick Bishop sandwiched around a Maalik Walker ace forced Cooper to use a timeout with his team trailing 22-19.
Glenbrook North setter Kyle Bedford wasn’t worried.
“We’ve been in that situation before,” he said. “We’ve been in that situation in a lot of games. We’ve just been playing together so much, we’re comfortable playing with each other in those situations. I just told (Libero Shapiro) Mitch that we had to pick up the passing.
“I think passing really started our comeback,” Kyle Bedford said. “When we had perfect passes, they couldn’t block us. That’s what helped our offense. It all starts with defense.”
Minooka’s defense also picked up in Game 2. The Indians had six of their eight blocks in Game 2, including three by Minooka setter Phil Hannon.
“We struggled passing in Game 2 and their serving was a little bit better,” Cooper said. “We became a little predictable and they’re big guys. If a big team knows where you’re going, they’re going to get some touches. They’re going to get some blocks.
“Sometimes hitter get stubbon and they want every kill to look like the one that Luke had and the one that Jeff (Goldberg) had earlier with an open net,” he added. “I kept encouraging them to hit shots and try to tip. I don’t mind the aggressiveness, but sometimes you got to be smart, too.”
Pat Bedford led Glenbrook North with nine kills, Brian O’Keefe added seven kills and Kyle Bedford had 27 assists and eight digs. Rick Bishop led Minooka (37-3) with seven kills, Nick Vertin had five and Hanon added 21 assists.
“You can’t make the errors we made against a team like that,” Minooka coach Janel Grzetich said. “By the time it was tied up in the second game, you could just see it on the boys’ faces. ‘Please, don’t make any mistakes.’”