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updated: 3/23/2013 7:27 PM

Buffalo Grove's winning tradition alive and well

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  • Buffalo Grove's Kevin Shanahan, right, sets the ball as teammate Jose Aguirre gets ready for a kill during the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite Saturday.

       Buffalo Grove's Kevin Shanahan, right, sets the ball as teammate Jose Aguirre gets ready for a kill during the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Nikita Bulauski, left, leaps at the net for a kill as Glenbrook North's Rob Chatterton tries to block the ball Saturday.

       Buffalo Grove's Nikita Bulauski, left, leaps at the net for a kill as Glenbrook North's Rob Chatterton tries to block the ball Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Michael Maley keeps the ball alive during the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite Saturday.

       Buffalo Grove's Michael Maley keeps the ball alive during the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton-Warrenville South's Jared Wilcox leaps for a kill against Lake Zurich during the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite Saturday.

       Wheaton-Warrenville South's Jared Wilcox leaps for a kill against Lake Zurich during the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich's Pat Bush sets the ball during Saturday's game against Wheaton-Warrenville South at the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite.

       Lake Zurich's Pat Bush sets the ball during Saturday's game against Wheaton-Warrenville South at the Buffalo Grove boys volleyball invite.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

Former Buffalo Grove boys volleyball star Jamie Schnittker now plays collegiately at St. Ambrose University.

But he graciously left behind a pair of brothers to help the Bison's winning court tradition continue.

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His brother Andy is a senior and inherited some of his older brother's height (6-feet-4).

His little brother, Zach, hasn't quite caught up in the height department -- he's 5-feet-7 -- but give Zach some time. After all he's just a freshman.

"We don't care how old you are or how tall you are," said Buffalo Grove coach Matt Aiello. "He's going to be amazing. He's already pretty good."

On Saturday, the Bison hosted the Buffalo Grove Battle. Carl Sandburg captured the championship in three sets, topping Glenbrook North by scores of 25-19, 21-25, 25-17.

The Bison fell to Glenbard East 20-25, 25-11, 25-14 in the third-place match.

During invite action, the Bison topped Grant 25-18, 25-16. Coaching the Bulldogs is former Bison player Jon Schapp, who played at BG in the early 1990s.

"We have had our program for three weeks and have not a single club player," said Schapp, whose Bulldogs battled the Bison to a 13-13 tie in the first set. "But we have a huge sophomore class."

The Bulldogs will get some help from Frank Tokarz.

The serving of senior Michael Maley helped put the Bison ahead to stay in the set. He had help from 6-foot-6 junior Nikita Bulauski, who notched a block kill and another kill on consecutive points.

The freshman Schnittker did the honors in the second set, serving 4 straight points. He also had help from Bulauski and Evan Bunnetto.

Aiello's Bison are accustomed to success -- having captured seven straight regional titles.

"And we have no plans on stopping that," Aiello said. "We are not there yet. We have to figure out our strengths and weaknesses. It's a process."

In winless Prospect's match against Naperville North (1-4), the Knights dropped the first set 25-18 and trailed 23-14 in the second. That's when jump server Grant Andler notched a pair of aces and recorded 5 straight points before the Knights fell 25-20.

"I'm pretty happy that we battled back," said Prospect coach Mike Riedy. "We had a tough pool today."

Naperville North coach Nathan Bornancin said that his Huskies have had trouble holding on to leads in the early going this season.

"Our team is lacking some confidence right now," Bornancin said. "It's messed with their heads. But we'll get back into the gym."

Naperville North features 10 seniors, including 6-foot-6 setter Gert Lisha -- who is Lewis University-bound next year. Hard-hitting Dan Koch is the lone player back from the team that finished second in the state in 2011. Koch paced the Huskies in kills in the win over Prospect.

A team with no seniors also won a match in the tourney. Led by the serving and hitting of junior Michael Savio and the hitting of sophomore Matt Carmody, Lake Zurich stopped Grant 25-13, 25-11.

"We have a young team," Savio said. "But we will surprise a lot of teams this year. We are a very scrappy team. We are not gifted with height, but we will win with our defense."

Bears coach Lesly Ravenscraft agreed with Savio's assessment.

"There are a lot of positives," Ravenscraft said. "We took Wheaton Warrenville to three sets. We are much more of an athletic team this year. We are working hard."

Hersey posted a dramatic win over Naperville North 15-25, 27-25, 15-13 and finished fifth in the tourney. These Huskies were helped by all-tournament players Mike Huerst and Foti Christacos.

Also making the all-tournament team were Buffalo Grove's Bulauski and Jose Aguirre.

Wheaton Warrenville South finished in sixth place.

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