Naperville Central closed its weekend at Wheaton Warrenville South's Tiger Classic with a 4-1 record and a third-place finish in the Gold Division bracket.
The Redhawks completed the boys volleyball tournament with a 26-24, 17-25, 15-11 win over DuPage Valley Conference foe Lake Park in the third place match on Saturday, finishing behind New Trier and Lincoln-Way East in their division.
Coach Roger Strausberger sees the third-place finish as a building block in the early part of the season.
"For us to come in here and finish third, that gives us something to build upon," Strausberger said. "New Trier and Lincoln-Way East deserved to be where they were. We've got to clean up some things in order for us to be up there with them."
Down 14-13 midway through Game 1, the Redhawks scored the next four points, going 4-for-4 on attack attempts, including two kills by junior outside hitter Jack Burton, who led with 12 on the night.
Lake Park managed to take the lead back at 23-21, but following a Naperville Central timeout the Lancers finished with a service error and a lift that tied the game at 23-23.
Following a block by Lake Park's Sean Moore that tied it at 24-24, the Redhawks closed with a kill by David Wesolowski and earned the game point on a Lancers attack error.
Down 11-8 in Game 2, the Lancers went on a 12-2 run as Naperville Central finished with six attack errors during that stretch.
Derek Burke scored two of the Lancers' points during that run on back-to-back blocks, one against Burton and the other against Tanner Beck.
By the third game the Redhawks cleaned up their mistakes and finished with 10 kills and only one attack error.
"Lake Park is very dynamic blocking and getting on top of our attacks," Burton said. "We just needed to figure out a way around it. Once we were able to find seems and little edges in the block, we did a lot better."
The Lancers finished the tournament with a 3-2 record and will face the Redhawks again on Tuesday in a DVC matchup.
"We had higher expectations for today, but the four teams that were in the semifinals probably had high expectations for the day," Lake Park coach Tim Murphy said. "I saw a lot of good things that I liked but saw a lot of bad things that I didn't like. We have a conference game against (Naperville Central) on Tuesday, so we're excited to get another chance to compete against them.
"I told the guys that we're in a better spot than 20 other teams in this tournament. We're happy to be where we are."