Downers Grove South a surprise champion
- Photos (6)
Lincoln-Way North attempted to make school history.
But the Downers Grove South boys volleyball team never gave the Phoenix a chance Saturday evening at Hoffman Estates High School.
The fifth-year school earned its first berth in a state championship in any sport with its semifinal victory over Glenbrook South earlier in the day.
But Downers South, making its 10 regular-season defeats look awfully deceptive, lead from virtually the start in its 25-18, 25-20 victory.
The Mustangs' volleyball team earned the first state title for the school since its boys soccer squad in 2004.
Downers South reached the state championship match with a straight-games win over St. Charles North in the morning semifinal.
"Our coaches always preach defense," said Downers South senior Nick Timreck, who had a team-high 11 kills. "Setting our block was a huge factor (in the victory). It was just a huge team effort."
Mike Schmitt, who added 10 kills for the Mustangs, broke the last tie of the opening game to give Downers South an 11-10 lead.
Downers South (30-10) went onto an 8-3 run during the stretch as sophomore Will Tischler had one of his 7 kills to up the lead to 18-13.
But it was all about defense for the Mustangs, who routinely denied the Lincoln-Way North front row.
Downers South ultimately finished with 35 digs, 9 more than its opponent, as Lincoln-Way North (37-4) never came closer than 4 points in the later stages of the first set.
The second game also featured multiple early ties, but Downers South once again exerted its considerable will as the teams approached double figures.
Timreck had back-to-back points to give the Mustangs a 17-13 lead, and the senior later added an ace to give Downers South a 20-15 cushion.
Schmitt had consecutive kills to bring Downers South to match point, and the volleyball season came to a close when Lincoln-Way North had a service error after a sideout.
David DeMarco keyed the Mustangs' superlative defense with a match-high 14 digs, while setter Jordan Pawlicki had 29 of the Mustangs' 31 assists.
"Everybody just connected out there," Tischler said. "We were playing as one. Everybody was in key, in tune."
Jake Walenga played admirably in defeat for Lincoln-Way North; the junior led both teams with 13 kills, but Ken Christensen was his only teammate with more than 2 kills.
"They were lights out," Phoenix coach Matthew Lawrence said of Downers South. "They proved to be the No. 1 team. They took care of business."
- Share Facebook Twitter
Article sent to (required)E-mail
Article sent from (required)E-mail Name
Subject Line (article title)
Message (optional)Success - Article sent Click to close
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.
Contact information ( * required )Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *
Article InformationTitle URL
Message (optional)Success - Reprint request sent Click to close