The St. Francis boys volleyball team feels it has a balanced offense, and in Game 2 against nonconference host Bartlett, the Spartans showed it.
Jeff Jendryk led the Spartans with 8 of his game-high 9 kills in the first set, but five different players recorded a kill in the second as St. Francis defeated the Hawks 25-21, 25-15 on Wednesday. Jendryk also had a game-high 3 blocks.
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"Our team bonding is really good," Jendryk said. "All of our hitters want the ball and can lay it down on the other side of the net."
Bartlett (0-1) led throughout the early stages of the opening game and held a 10-9 advantage, but Jendryk had 3 straight kills to start a 6-0 run, which gave St. Francis (2-0) the lead for good at 15-10.
The Hawks didn't go away quietly, pulling within 21-20 after a Jake Martin kill, but an unforced error and a pair of kills by Jendryk gave the Spartans a 24-20 lead. A Bartlett error ended Game 1.
St. Francis never trailed in Game 2 and used an 11-2 run to pull away midway through the set.
"The first game, we didn't pass very well," Spartans coach Mike Lynch said. "Once we started passing the ball a little tighter, we were able to get more people involved and get the middle hitters involved."
Alex Shulski and Robert Smith led the Spartans with 12 assists each, and Patrick Flood (7 kills, 4 digs) and Greg Churney (5 kills) led the offense in Game 2 with 5 and 4 kills, respectively.
Bartlett pulled within 11-8 in the second game after a Martin kill before St. Francis went on its 11-2 run, which Shulski capped with his second ace of the match for a 22-10 lead, the largest lead of the night. Flood later added a kill and an ace for game point at 24-14. After a St. Francis error a Bartlett error ended the match.
Mike Gulczynski led the Hawks attack with 7 kills, Joseph Butler added 4 digs and Jonathan Cruz finished with 8 assists.
There were a lot of unforced errors by both squads, but it was only the second game for St. Francis and the first for Bartlett.
"To be honest, I was really impressed with my guys, especially scoring 21 points in the first game against a really good team," Bartlett coach Bob Schwantz said. "We couldn't close out the first game, but I was happy with what my guys did."