Waubonsie Valley senior boys volleyball player Connor Douville was in the midst of a serving streak to finish out the second set Monday when Warren called a timeout.
"I was just drinking water, and then all of a sudden, there was blood on my hand. I had a random bloody nose," Douville said. "I've never had that happen in a game before."
This, however, was his Senior Night. Nothing was going to stop Douville or the Warriors from rallying for a 19-25, 25-19, 25-19 victory in Aurora.
Michael Simmons, Douville and Tim Williams, the three seniors for the Warriors (24-9), led the way along with Andrew Salmon, Jake Furman and Jake Linden.
Warren (20-13) was paced by Bryant Holland, Arvind Kouta, Max Bongratz and Mitch Maan de Kok.
"We're the seniors so we have to be the leaders on the team. It was just, 'Got to keep going,' " Douville said.
As the trainer tended to Douville's bloody nose, the Warriors called a timeout of their own during the break so that he could have additional time to return. He served three more points to end the set, and the momentum continued.
Simmons, Douville and Simmons accounted for all 15 of the Warriors' kills in the third set.
"They know where their bread's buttered," Waubonsie Valley coach Al Lagger said. "That's always the tricky thing with Senior Night, controlling the emotion. We knew in the second set we'd come out a lot better and we took control and ran with it."
The Blue Devils put up a great fight. After the Warriors took a 10-9 lead in third set, they never trailed again. Warren did tie the score three times, the last at 16-16 after the Warriors believed a Simmons attack hit the floor before it was dug.
Simmons delivered kills on the next two points, and Williams' kill after a high leap away from the net opened a 19-16 advantage.
Simmons, who averages 15 kills per match, had 15 over the last two sets.
"I definitely got hot. (But setters) Furman and Linden were unbelievable," Simmons said. "Every time I made a mistake, it was completely my fault. They were giving me the ball perfectly. It was amazing actually."
Warren received 12 kills from Holland over the final two sets. Bongratz dominated the middle with six in the first set.
"I thought both teams played well. It's just one team has to lose. We know we still have some things that we have to work on," Warren coach Yun Chen said.
"I think we had our moments. It's one of those things where we're there. We're working on finishing the match and just get over a couple of points. We started off well and sometimes we start losing momentum. They have some great hitters and they played very good defense."
The Waubonsie Valley seniors still have unfinished business. In 2013 they contributed to the program's fourth regional title unexpectedly after Simmons returned late in the season from a stress fracture.
If they win at West Chicago Tuesday, the Warriors will earn a share of the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division title with Metea Valley or South Elgin, who meet Tuesday in Elgin. It would be the Warriors' first conference title since 2010 and only third ever.
"We just can't underestimate them because we know they're going to be a good team and want to beat us so we can't have that conference championship," Douville said. "We've just got to come out strong and limit our errors again."