Barrington middle hitter Peter Van Fossan played Thursday's match against Schaumburg with a bandage on his left hand after injuring his thumb at last weekend's Wheaton Warrenville South tourney.
But the senior doesn't let the injury bother him. As a matter of fact, he thinks it may even be making him play better.
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"I focus more," said Van Fossan. "It makes me kick it into a higher gear."
Van Fossan helped lead the Broncos to a third-place state finish last season while competing in the playoffs with what he called a "sprained or broken thumb," and in the match against WWS where the injury took place, he had an amazing 16 kills against Downers Grove South.
Thursday, the senior's 4 kills, 3 blocks and an ace helped propel Barrington to a 25-23, 25-14 Mid-Suburban West victory against the host Saxons.
Colin Castagna led Barrington on offense with 7 kills while Charlie Spry added 6.
"He (Van Fossan) was unbelievable in that match against Downers," said Broncos coach Rob Ridenour. "As one of three returning starters, he's definitely going to be one of our leaders this season."
Junior outside hitter Stephen Knitter led a strong Schaumburg effort with 11 kills.
"We kind of shut down in the second game," said Saxons coach Jeff O'Brien. "We weren't doing the things we needed to do to win.
"I told the boys that I thought we played great the first 30 points of the game, but the next 10 points, not so well."
Schaumburg (5-2, 1-1) came out the agressor and led most of the way in the first set. Then block kills by Barrington's Anthony Guagliardo and Kevin Eiring gave the Broncos their first lead at 16-15.
Schaumburg got as close as 24-23, but a final serve beyond the end line gave set one to Barrington.
"We were playing OK," said Ridenour. "I was happy the way we recovered from a slow start."
The Saxons trailed by 3 points in set two when a Broncos error, a kill, then an ace by junior Cameron Nolan deadlocked the game.
But Barrington (7-2, 2-0) ran off the next 9 consecutive points behind a couple of blocks and a kill by Van Fossan and two kills from outside hitter Connor Wright to put the match out of reach.
Tommy Soifer pitched in with 13 assists for the home team and after the match, Van Fossan spoke about the Broncos strong start to the 2013 season and the team goals.
"We're a young team," said the senior, "and we have a lot to work on. It all starts with defense, discipline and maturity. We're working on our technique and starting to settle in to our leadership roles."