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The host Cougars had a tough battle on their hands when they faced No. 5 Palatine for the Vernon Hills boys volleyball regional championship Wednesday. No. 4 seed Vernon Hills had to go three games to get the job done, but ultimately the Cougars were able to pull away from the Pirates, winning 25-19 in the deciding third game to advance to the Antioch sectional semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Buffalo Grove, which upset No. 1 seed Stevenson in the Highland Park regional.