Top-seeded Lake Park defeated a scrappy Addison Trail Blazers 18-25, 25-15, 25-13 on Friday at the Conant sectional semifinals.
The Lancers advance to play Barrington, the No. 2 seed, on Tuesday in the sectional final.
"Addison Trail played really well in that first game," said Lancers coach Tim Murphy. "We've been in that situation before. We've gone three games a lot this season where we've lost the first game. I never got nervous. I know I believe in our guys and I believe they can rally back. That's basically what we did."
In the first game both teams matched each other point-for-point, reaching 8-8. But the Blazers broke away to take a 19-12 lead, paced by its three 6-foot-4 front-line players, juniors Alex Dickmann and Jack Vrchota and senior Kevin Grygo.
The Lancers couldn't contain the Blazers' attack as Anthony Chiaramonte scored a kill to push the lead to 20-13. Dickmann added another spike and the Blazers completed the first game 25-18.
"We got fired up," the Lancers' Quin Krisik said. "We knew our backs were against the wall and this could be our last game. They played a good first game. We settled down and our ball control was a lot better in the second and third set. We been here before and we don't get rattled when we lose the first set."
The Lancers (31-6) jumped quickly to a 6-2 lead and never looked back taking the second game 25-15.
"Our passing went away a little bit in the second game and theirs picked up," said Blazers coach Chad Grant. "Game 2 was our inability to hit the ball over the net. Lake Park also has a tendency to lose the first game and come back strong in the next two. They did what they normally do and they just executed better than us. They are a good team and have so many options. They were incredibly difficult to prepare for."
With 11 seniors in the lineup, the Lancers know how to win and put their game in high gear to finish the Blazers (33-5) in the third game 25-13.
"We came together as a team and we refuse to lose," Murphy said.
"A lot of it comes down to the passing and being in system," Murphy added. "(The Blazers) were able to stay in system, which forced our blocking to move around a lot more. When we took them out of system that's when our blocking got a lot better."