It's been a busy time for the Benet boys volleyball team. It took second at its own two-day invite over the weekend, and it beat visiting Marian Catholic on Tuesday.
There was no pause button for the team as it traveled to Downers Grove North on Wednesday, and while not at peak efficiency, dispatched the Trojans 25-21, 25-21.
"We did a lot of good things. But we've played nine matches in five days and I thought the team showed that. Their energy was not as high," said Benet coach Amy Van Eekeren. "Downers Grove North played well. Their hitters were aggressive especially on the outside."
This was a match that was close throughout with a 2- to 3-point lead a well-earned result in each game and the battle was tied or a team had just a 1-point advantage through a good portion of the competition.
Garrett Metzger led Benet (19-9) with 5 kills and 4 blocks, and teammate Scott Kleiser also had 5 kills and 3 blocks. One of Metzger's blocks cut the Downers North lead to one at 20-19 in Game 2 and returned his team to serving.
With Josh Martinez at the helm, the Redwings went up 23-20 on two more blocks by Metzger and a Downers North double hit and hitting error.
Soon after, a Trojans serve in the net and a kill by Mark Schuessler secured the game and the match for Benet.
Downers North fell to 16-11 with the defeat. Coach Mark Wasik was pleased with how his team battled the Redwings, but his concern came with key moments of the match where the Trojans needed to make plays and didn't.
"We're up 20-18 (in Game 2). After that we score 1 point and they scored 7. It's just our ability to be consistent. Benet is a solid team and if you leave the door open for them, they will walk right through," Wasik said.
Game 1 was similar to Game 2. A Metzger kill gave Benet a 22-20 lead and Jackson Van Eekeren took over serving. A Metzger block, an ace by Van Eekeren and a Downers North hitting error put the Redwings up 24-21. The Trojans then put a serve into the net to give Benet the victory.
Liam Reidy and Michal Mierzwa each had 5 kills for Downers North.
Benet returns to East Suburban Catholic Conference play Thursday with a trip to Marist and then is off until Tuesdaywith a match at Carmel. With the postseason just a few weeks away, the team is wanting to hone its game as much as possible.
"It's fun playing all those matches, but we need to get back in the gym and get where we need to be," Martinez said.