Waubonsie Valley rolls by Benet
Updated: May 19, 2011 9:49PM
It would have been understandable for the host Waubonsie Valley boys volleyball team to experience a bit of a letdown in its match against Benet on Thursday.
The Warriors (23-12) were coming off their best match of the season, a road win against archrival Neuqua Valley, it was Senior Night and it was the last match of the regular season.
But Waubonsie held it together and did everything well to defeat the Redwings 25-20, 25-23.
“We were a little worried about how we would respond emotionally tonight,” said Waubonsie’s Will Gautschi. “But we were focused and we did a good job of keeping the ball in play.”
Game 1 was a seesaw affair early and Benet (22-12) had the lead 12-10 after an ace by Pat Dougherty.
But then the Warriors reeled off seven straight points behind Selby Wilson’s serving and soon Waubonsie had a five-point cushion and Benet couldn’t get any closer than within three.
“Once I saw how we came out, I knew we would be OK,” said Waubonsie coach Al Lagger.
Benet led also led early in Game 2, 7-3.
And, then the Warriors went on an 8-2 run and took control of the game.
But, Benet fought back to take the lead once and tie it five more times, the last time at 23-23.
Waubonsie kills by Gautschi and Sean Keeve ended the evening in two games.
“In that second game we relaxed and let them come back, but we were able to pick it up and pull out the victory,” Lagger said. “Both of our setters (Luke Furman and Michael Simmons) did a great job of running the offense and moving the ball around.”
In a typically balanced Warriors’ offensive display Keeve and Gautschi were the kill leaders with eight apiece, Jordan James had seven kills and Wilson had four. James had six blocks and Gautschi added five. The top digger was T.P. Parker with six.
“To finish like this is huge,” Gautschi said. “It gives us a lot of momentum going into the playoffs.”
Benet’s top man was Bobby Wehrli with seven kills and two blocks, and Dougherty had five kills, a block and an ace to go with his 17 assists. Kevin Weithers registered three kills, two blocks and two aces and Luke Ladowski finished with three kills, two blocks and four digs.
“We knew Waubonsie was a good blocking team,” said Benet coach Amy Van Eekeren. “Our plan was to not run it to the outside too much because that wouldn’t be effective against them. So, we practiced running other things, but we didn’t pass well enough to do those things. And we missed too many serves. Waubonsie had aggressive serving and great blocking. We just didn’t execute well.”