Senior Kevin Grygo has grown into his role as the starting setter for the Addison Trail boys volleyball team.
The third-year varsity player is among the tallest Blazers at 6-foot-4.
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"Most people probably don't see tall setters," Grygo said. "Since seventh grade, I started setting. Since eighth grade, I've been growing like crazy. I just always stayed. I never really tried hitting. It's been working out pretty well."
On Monday everybody in the Blazers' offense stood out in their 25-7, 25-15 victory at Fenton.
Grygo distributed 24 assists among five hitters with senior Alex Dickmann, junior Jon Valintini and senior Anthony Chiraramonte and sophomore Zach Novak leading Addison Trail (2-0). Libero Marco Parisi had 12 digs.
By the end of this season, Grygo should surpass 1,000 assists and become his program's all-time leader.
"He's put on about 4 inches since he's been playing varsity, so he's gotten to the point where he's a real solid blocker and sets a nice ball," Addison Trail coach Tom Hubner said.
The Blazers and Bison (1-4) both had their lineups affected after players missed practice during last week's spring break. Addison Trail had only played March 27 but has two more matches and a tournament this week. Fenton was coming off probably its best effort, a three-set loss at West Chicago on Wednesday.
The Blazers took a 4-0 lead and soon were in front 14-3. Addison Trail jumped to a 7-1 lead in the second set.
Usama Maan and Jakub Lewandowski led Fenton with 3 kills each. Maan and setter Andy Gonzalez each had 4 digs.
"We come out flat a lot. You'd think you'd have an advantage playing a home game, but not always the case," Fenton coach Heather Petersen said. "We knew this was going to be a tough team. They always give us a run for our money, but we just didn't have the team chemistry like we did (at West Chicago)."
The chemistry between Grygo and the 6-4 Dickmann could not be denied. Especially with three regulars out, Dickmann set the tone with kills on four of the Blazers' first five points.
While Dickmann dominated the front row, Valintini delivered 12 service points with 2 aces. Grygo served the final seven points of the first set with an ace.
A fourth-year varsity player, Dickmann had his 11 kills on just 13 attacks and is showing the improvements after his first club season with Sports Performance.
"They've taught me to hit much better and just make the best out of every hit, every set," Dickmann said. "I definitely know where to place the ball much more and also the team. We practice a lot of placement with our hits."
"Whatever he hits, he puts away," Hubner said. "He's been very efficient, gotten better. He's done all of the things we've needed him to do."
Hubner said the Blazers are seeking an even distribution offensively. Grygo is thankful he will always have an experienced and consistent target in Dickmann.
"I know where to set him. I know where he'll be," Grygo said. "He's definitely a lot better. When I set, it's not always perfect. This year especially, he's been able to get any of my sets, whether they're good or bad, and he's able to get a kill off it."