One thing very evident in Tuesday's Naperville North at Naperville Central boys volleyball match is that when a team grabbed a lead in a match, it put a firm grip on it and didn't let go.
The key for the Redhawks (20-3, 6-1 DuPage Valley Conference) is that they did it more often than the Huskies and won 18-25, 25-19, 25-21.
"It's important to keep going for shots and not be afraid to make mistakes," said Naperville Central senior Jon Chiczewski, who led his team with 12 kills. "This match is always a tough one. (The Huskies) are a good team and we have to be at our best and come ready to play."
In the deciding game a Naperville Central hitting error tied the score at 4 followed by a kill by Kasper Mazurek that gave the Redhawks a 5-4 advantage. Naperville Central never gave up the lead. The Huskies (11-12, 3-4) cut the advantage to 1 at one point, but the Redhawks stayed in control.
Later, two kills by Jack Burton, a kill each by Chiczewski and Mazurek and an ace by Michael Timmerberg gave Naperville Central a 24-19 cushion that helped the Redhawks wrap up the game and the match.
"I told the guys to keep plugging away at it, get a sideout, keeping getting the ball," said Naperville Central coach Roger Strausberger. "Naperville North played very tough defense. They had some unbelievable blocking and digging."
The Redhawks' tight grip on the lead came later in Game 2. Naperville Central led most of the first half of the game. But two aces by Naperville North's Kevin Romy helped tie the game at 13. The Redhawks soon got the lead back and kills by Dan Trembacki and Timmerberg along with hitting errors and a carry by Naperville North, put the finishing touches on a 25-19 victory.
The Huskies were led in the match by Jake Hafen's 13 kills and 7 from Frank Dore and 6 from Kevin Figge.
Naperville Central was leading 10-9 in Game 1 when Naperville North's Figge took over serving. Two kills and a block from Dore, a block by Hafen and a block by Romy and two Naperville Central hitting errors put the Huskies up 15-11 and they never looked back. Later, Naperville North went up 20-13 with the squads battling to a 5-5 deadlock the rest of the way, but with the Huskies still in the driver's seat.
"We probably had our best blocking of the season. I counted 8 in the first set, 3 to 4 in the second set, but just 1 in the third. I thought we did a nice job of slowing things down in Set 1," said Naperville North coach Nathan Bornancin. "We missed 14 serves, but I thought that got better as the match went on. Naperville Central is a tough team, very talented."
The Redhawks return to their home court Thursday for another key DVC match against Lake Park. Naperville North stays on the road to take on Glenbard North. Both matches begin at 6 p.m.