Barrington rises past Zion-Benton
Taylor Ganzer needed to take Barrington just a little higher.
The Broncos setter recognized that Zion-Benton was crowding the net in Tuesday's sectional final in Barrington. Ganzer then began to set the ball higher, over the Zee Bee defenders for some clean kills as the Broncos swept past Zion-Benton 25-17, 25-20.
Barrington (33-6) will be making its first appearance at the state finals since 2005, when the Broncos finished second. Barrington will meet Lake Park in a state quarterfinal match at 6 p.m. Friday at Hoffman Estates High School.
"It was great tonight," Barrington coach Rob Ridenour said. "There was a lot of good teamwork out there.
"We had really nice distribution out there. We knew Zion-Benton was a great blocking team, so we were trying to keep it relatively even and keep them off their toes."
"I just needed to set the ball over them," said Ganzer, who finished with a lofty 26 assists in the two-game match. "They were crowding us a bit, so I looked for the open spot."
Zion-Benton made a concerted effort to keep Barrington's 6-foot-8 outside hitter Tommy Leonard in check in the first game. But Czarnecki recognized the strategy and moved the ball to Jeff Hochstein and Peter Van Fossan.
"We were all so motivated today," Hochstein said. "We all wanted this so bad.
"Taylor is amazing. I don't know how he does it. He gets the ball to everyone just as they need it."
With the 6-5 Hochstein and 6-6 Van Fossan pounding the ball, Barrington went on a 10-2 run to pull away from a 4-4 tie to take command in the first game and ease to the 25-17 victory.
"We wanted them to camp up on our middles," Austin Czarnecki said. "That's where we set them a lot in the beginning. When we started to get two blockers in the middle, we sent the ball to the outside."
In the second game, Barrington raced to a 9-2 advantage. Zion-Benton made a charge and closed to 20-18. That's when Ganzer began to set the ball as high as he could to Leonard.
"I got blocked in the beginning of the match," Leonard said. "They were going to commit on me. Taylor did a great job setting the ball for us. Taylor took the ball up high for me and I was able to go up and over their blockers."
The strategy worked as Leonard came away with the final 3 kills to close the game out for the Broncos 25-20.
"For once, Tommy wasn't completely dominating," Ridenour said. "But he was in game two, and that's when we needed it."
Leonard led the Broncos with 9 kills and 3 blocks. Hochstein finished with 8 blocks, Charlie Spry had 6 kills and 2 blocks while Van Fossan had 5 kills and 2 blocks.
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