It might have taken a little longer than Jon Pyne and the rest of his Waubonsie Valley teammates wanted but the fifth match point proved to be the clincher Thursday night.
Pyne, a 6-2 senior outside hitter, slammed a cross-court kill for the game-winner to lift the Warriors (7-10) to a hard-fought 25-20, 17-25, 25-23 Upstate Eight Conference crossover boys volleyball triumph over St. Charles East (4-10) in St. Charles.
Leading the decisive third game 24-19, the Warriors watched the Saints score 4 consecutive points to pull within 1 at 24-23 before Pyne sealed the decision.
"I knew we could pull it off," said Pyne, whose team pulled away to take Game 1 before digging themselves a 18-8 hole while losing Game 2. "I know personally my passes were just off in the second game. I was struggling a lot and we weren't communicating in the back row as much as we should."
Pyne had 3 of his team-high 8 kills in the third game.
"It was nice to have that little redemption there," Pyne said of the final point. "It was a good set from Spencer Rhoades, who played really well tonight."
Sophomore Andrew Salmon added 6 kills for Waubonsie Valley.
"Andrew has been solid all year," said Warriors coach Al Lagger. "He passes well, he hits well -- he does everything well."
Waubonsie scored 5 unanswered points in the first game to snap an 18-18 deadlock.
"We've been working hard at just keeping the ball in play," said Lagger. "The more you put the ball on the other side the better chance of them making a mistake."
Led by seniors Iain O'Connor (12 kills), Jacob Samuels (8 kills, 3 blocks), and junior Luke Spicer (6 kills), the Saints controlled the second game before fighting the Warriors to the finish in Game 3.
"I thought we handled stress better tonight," said Saints coach Kate McCullagh. "In the past, we've had a tendency to kind of crumble when things get tight. I'd say that this was better than what we have done.
"Sometimes it seems like we're trying to do too much," added the coach. "People are going for that big swing when that's not always what we need. We're working through those things."
O'Connor had 7 of his kills during the Saints' Game 2 victory.
"He has been doing a really nice job," McCullagh said of O'Connor. "He has been in a few different positions just this season. He's been a setter for us. His flexibility really helps because we can throw him back in the setting position but he's doing so well hitting it's better to keep him there."
Tom Dieter added 5 kills for the Saints, while Timmothy Williams and Connor Douville each chipped in with a pair of kills for the Warriors.