The Waubonsie Valley boys volleyball team got its season off to a good start with a straight-set victory over a young West Aurora team Monday.
The host Warriors rallied from a 19-16 deficit in the first set to beat the Blackhawks 25-20 and dominated West Aurora in the second with a 25-13 victory at Waubonsie Valley.
"We came out with good energy, young teams can do that," said West Aurora coach Tolis Koskinaris. "Young teams have a heard time sustaining energy. I knew that first game was important for us. We're going to go through our growing pains. There's nothing really that upset me about their character today, just they gotta go through this stuff. They're good kids, they'll learn from this."
The Blackhawks (0-1) started five underclassmen, including 6-foot-5 freshman Thomas Kovanic and the young group pulled away from the Warriors (1-0) midway through the first set.
Two blocks by sophomore setter Adam Fitzgerald and a kill from sophomore Justin Reynolds had West Aurora ahead 19-16 before a Warriors timeout seemed to come at a perfect time.
After the timeout Waubonsie Valley went on a 9-1 run to end the set 25-20 thanks to strong play from senior captain Michael Simmons and some sloppy errors by the young Blackhawks team.
"I think the first set we were really nervous," Simmons said. "We have two young setters and I think they were nervous in general. You always have those first-match jitters that you're gonna be nervous, you're not gonna make the smartest play or you're gonna make the wrong play. I think we all relaxed and make the right play and got it done."
In the second set the Warriors got out to a 7-4 lead and never looked back earning a 25-13 victory to send West Aurora on their way.
"Tolis is a former player of mine, he was on my first team so no matter when we play him it's always the same," said Warriors coach Al Lagger. "It's a typical first match. We knew we had to get a lot of the butterflies out, we had a lot of missed serves in the first game and we capitalized more on the second game. … We were able to execute more and the score dictated that."
Simmons, a Lewis University recruit, had 14 kills on the night for the Warriors. Fellow senior captain Connor Douville had 4 kills and 7 blocks, while sophomore Joe Napolitano added 6 blocks of his own.
Reynolds had a team-high 6 kills for West Aurora and Jimmy Roggerman had 3 aces for the Blackhawks.