Sandburg wins fourth state titleSandburg's Phil Hanrahan screams with excitement after defeating Naperville North. | Josh Peckler~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 4, 2011 9:08PM
Sandburg could do no wrong Saturday.
Senior All-Area middle hitter Bill Siroky had seven kills and three blocks, Andrew Muys added seven kills and Scott Fifer added 24 assists to lead Sandburg to a 25-15, 25-16 victory over Naperville North in the boys volleyball state championship at Hoffman Estates.
Sandburg (39-3) trailed 6-4 in Game 1, but went on a 16-3 run that left Naperville North wondering what hit it.
“We felt that was probably the best game we played all year,” Siroky said. “That’s what we wanted to do ... peak at the right time. Could we play better? Yeah, but I don’t know ... that was the best we played all year and obviously the best we will play.”
Fifer, who missed the early part of the season with an injury and was sidelined when the teams met at Buffalo Grove back in March, said Saturday was all about enjoying the moment.
“Our mindset was to have fun,” he said. “That’s pretty much what we said all year. Stay calm and stay focused .”
Things were going so well that even when Fifer and Siroky misconnected on a set in Game 2, they were able laugh about it.
“We were talking before the match that that’s the attitude that makes us so great,” the Princeton-bound Siroky said. “Yeah, we know we’re going to make mistakes, so there’s no point in dwelling on it.”
The championship was Sandburg’s first since 2000 and fourth overall, moving the Eagles closer to Wheaton Warrenville South (six) on the all-time list.
“This group is great at volleyball,” first-year Sandburg coach Sean Airola said. “But more important than anything else is that they’re awesome kids. They look up at banners in the gym everyday about Samdnurg’s past history. Now they’re going to have a name on a banner.”
Shane Witmer had six kills and a block for Naperville North (30-12), which trailed 13-9 in Game 2 when Sandburg embarked upon a 10-3 run.
“It was frustrating, but at the same time you really have to give it up to Sandburg,” Witmer said. “With all the hype and everything in that game, I thought we were even with them the first five points. But then they went on a couple of runs and we couldn’t respond.
“They were doing everything well,” the 6-foot-4 senior said. “They didn’t make mistakes, they were blocking, hitting, passing. As frustrated as we are, and obviously we didn’t play our best match, I thought they played very well.”
Naperville North coach Nate Bornancin said it was Sandburg’s serving – the Eagles had 11 service errors in their semifinal against Glenbard West compared to just two in the final – which spelled the Huskies’ demise.
“They served so well, we couldn’t keep up with them,” he said. “Our serve receive just wasn’t there today. It kept us out of system . They played a fantastic state match. In high school boys volleyball, momentum is a killer. You either have it or you don’t, and we really didn’t have it.”
Sandburg also got five kills and an ace from Kevin Groeper and three kills and an ace from Jason Fox, who had the final kill of the match.
“We got the middles going, the outside hitters going, our blocking was huge, defense,” Airola said. “We’re state champions.”
In the third-place match, Garrett Kubacki had 11 kills and Thomas Robinson and Mikey Kelly each had six to lead Vernon Hills (37-5) past Glenbard West 25-21, 18-25, 25-20. Adam Lepold had 13 kills to lead Glenbard West (33-9).