Everyone inside Waubonsie Valley's hot, sticky gymnasium knew where Metea Valley was going with its attack.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, there was nothing they could do to stop Mustangs senior outside Martin Krasuski.
Krasuski, a three-year starter, had 26 kills while helping the Mustangs rally past the Warriors in three games, 19-25, 25-17, 25-17 in an Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division match played on Tuesday evening in Aurora.
"I was just trying to help the team out as much as I could," said Krasuski, who has 337 kills this season. "I just wanted to bring it against Waubonsie, who is a rival."
Krasuski's performance was nothing new for Metea coach John Aister.
"We've come to expect that from Martin," Aister said. "He is our go-to guy. He's been a big guy for us all year. This is honestly no different than any previous matches. He's been big and has stepped up in big situations for us -- to have 26 kills is a phenomenal effort."
The Mustangs (18-6, 2-1) make sure they get the most out of Krasuski's talents as they utilize him from the back row -- almost half of Krasuski's kills came from behind the 10-foot line.
"It is a unique that we can bring a lot of power from back row," Krasuski said. "It helps spread out our attack, it forces defenses to react to us and creates a lot of single blocks, which is to our advantage."
Krasuski received plenty of help from his teammates as Ryan Luckinbill added 9 kills and Enrique Lopez finished with 4 kills. Setter Andrew Miller dished out 41 assists.
Waubonsie (10-19, 0-3) has been decimated by injuries this season. That didn't prevent the Warriors from rallying from a 13-7 deficit to take the first game thanks to the serving of Tyler House, who finished with 5 aces, and aggressive play along the net from juniors Timothy Williams and Conner Douville and senior Jon Pyne.
"In 20 years of coaching here, this is the most we've been bit by the injury bug," Warriors coach Al Lagger said. "The younger guys are stepping up. We're not getting blown out of matches and we battle each match. We just seem to make the wrong mistake at the wrong time and that is what is costing us."
Lagger said he is hopeful that junior outside Michael Simmons and senior middle Tim Eckert might return in time for the postseason as the Warriors host one of the four regionals along with Benet, Downers Grove South and Glenbard East in the upcoming Proviso West sectional.