Spring Break provides folks a chance to get away, but not for the Neuqua Valley and Streamwood boys volleyball teams.
The two schools met for an Upstate Eight Conference crossover match on Tuesday night in Naperville, the Wildcats earning the win 25-15, 25-22.
Each coach took the opportunity to use the contest to learn more about their roster.
Neuqua coach Erich Mendoza utilized different lineups in each game.
After watching his regular starters take the first game, Mendoza inserted players such as Aaron Lauth, Adam Zimmerman, Austin Neace Michael Hickey and Matt Siebach to help the Wildcats (2-0) hold off the Sabres (3-3) in the second game.
“In Game 2 we told the guys that this was their opportunity and to go make something of it,” Mendoza said. “We wanted to see what they were capable of doing. There is only so much you can do in practice when it comes to simulating game situations, I think you could see some of the guys were nervous, but I really liked what I saw.”
Streamwood coach Lisa Vazzana said she is still trying to identify which players are going to play where on a regular basis.
Vazzana liked what she saw from defensive specialist Danny Nevarez, who led the Sabres with 5 digs. Outside hitters Lester Dela Cruz and Phil Lewy each had 3 kills while setter Prmio Vyas had 2 aces and 4 assists.
“In that second game we started to put some things together as we started working around their big hitters,” Vazzana said. “We had more momentum — we were more aggressive. We were trying to outsmart Neuqua and it was working in our favor, but (Neuqua) made enough plays to win.”
At times the match felt like an early-season affair as it featured its fair share of errors and miscues on both sides.
Mendoza said the Wildcats will need to be sharp as they prepare to make their debut in the one of the state’s top tournaments — the Wheaton Warrenville South Tiger Classic beginning for the Wildcats on Thursday night with matches against Sandburg and Evanston.
“This is our first year to be in that tournament and the boys are excited,” Mendoza said. “It is a great measuring stick as the teams that are in that tournament are always competing for the state championship on a yearly basis.”
Local schools such as Downers Grove South, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Lake Park, Waubonsie Valley join the host Tigers along with elite programs such as Buffalo Grove, Glenbrook North, New Trier and Barrington. Pool play for the 24-team event is Wednesday and Thursday with medal rounds set for Saturday.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.