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updated: 4/9/2014 9:01 PM

Savio's the man of the moment for Lake Zurich

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By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

All in all it was a pretty good night for Lake Zurich senior volleyball player Michael Savio.

He got his date for the prom and also got a pancake during the main show.

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And Savio and his teammates beat visiting Stevenson for the first time in forever. Or maybe not quite that long.

"Not since I've been coaching here,'' said Lake Zurich coach Lesly Ravenscraft.

So, anyway, Savio's night started when he asked his "best friend" Kristen McCowan to the prom. Savio brought the flowers and let the public address announcer do the rest.

And the sweet pancake?

"I mis-read the ball at first,'' Savio said. "I could see that that they were going for a tip. I knew I wouldn't be able to get there so I laid out for the pancake."

Lake Zurich's third win of the season was sweet. Brent Sweetwood led the Bears' attack with 8 kills and rising setter Pat Bush added 28 assists in the 25-21, 25-18 win.

"They really play great defense,'' said Stevenson coach Eric Goolish. "They also know where their strengths are."

For Savio, this winning news has been a long time coming.

"My freshman year we were a .500 team,'' Savio said. "And that's the best we've done here. But this team has a lot of experience. Almost all of our starters are back."

Despite the one veteran club (Lake Zurich) opposing a very young Stevenson squad, this match was close the entire way. The Patriots (0-3) never led in set one. On a serving ace from setter Bush, the Bears' lead was just 9-7.

Speaking of Bush, here's a setter to watch this season.

"He's a senior captain,'' Ravenswood said. "And this was the first year he didn't play club. I think he really wanted to enjoy his high school season. He's using all of hitters and really mixing it up well."

Stevenson kept within striking distance behind the outside hitting of Josh Cliffer. He's another one of those seniors who didn't see much action on a very gifted Pats club last year.

"He's a middle hitter who didn't play last year,'' Goolish said. "Now he's on the right side with a learning curve."

On a block kill from Eric Chang the Pats crawled within 24-20 in set one. Sweetwood's soft shot closed set one.

Again Stevenson never led in set two. However, with Thomas Rzepecki serving, the Pats were within 13-11.

"My team is pressing just a little,'' Goolish said. "But they believe in good things. We are looking a lot better. It's a great group of kids."

Savio went into serve and helped grow the Lake Zurich lead to 20-15. He had help with a block kill from Sweetwood and then a crushing kill from Matt Carmody (5 kills, 2 blocks).

"Our team played amazingly,'' Ravenscraft said. "They never gave up. They are building confidence. They are meeting expectations."

Savio is heading West for college, as in the University of Southern California. He doesn't want to give up on his favorite sport and may walk on and also play beach volleyball. He wants to study screen writing.

Rzepecki paced the Pats with 9 digs. Jeff Maskalunas and Keenan Herman had 3 kills for the Pats. Savio had 11 digs for the 3-4 Bears, and Chris Steible had 4 kills for Lake Zurich.

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