Amos helps Lake Zurich, Stevenson get ALS on the run
DeeAnn Amos would have appreciated this volleyball match on Wednesday night.
Her oldest son, Nate, a Lake Zurich senior, finished off Stevenson with a kill as the Bears won 25-22, 25-16 in a North Suburban Conference opener.
More importantly, the two schools participated in a fundraiser in the fight against ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Mrs. Amos lost her battle to this disease on March 24.
"She was the one who got me started in volleyball," Amos said. "She played three sports in college (softball, basketball and volleyball)."
Amos noted the stands were full and many were wearing ALS T-shirts in honor of his mother.
"I can't imagine a better place to honor her," he said. "It was an unbelievable crowd."
On the court, both teams played well early. Stevenson (2-5) brought back hard-hitting Justin Leonard from injury and, despite playing with only one healthy hand, the senior managed 6 kills and 4 blocks.
Still on the sideline for the Pats is 6-foot-8 junior Grant Maleski. He did have some good news to report, however: After high school, he will move out West and play volleyball at UCLA.
Set 1 was a battle all the way. On back-to-back kills from Stevenson's Leo Chen and Leonard, this set was knotted up at 6-6. And then right side Alex Krasowski (4 aces, 3 blocks) went into serve for Lake Zurich (5-2). He fired off 3 straight aces and then let Amos take over at the net on back-to-back blocks.
The Bears had some breathing room at 19-14. Stevenson rallied to tie this set up at 22-22. Amos and Krasowski had block kills for the win.
"We still have some inexperience," Stevenson coach Eric Goolish said. "And getting Leonard back is promising. Lake Zurich is good and Amos is a really nice player."
Set 2 wasn't as competitive. Amos (5 kills, 6 blocks, 2 aces) went into serve and he got some help from teammates. Jeff Carmody, all 5-5 of him, nailed a few block kills. Also helping out was Andrew Gilbertson, all 6-7 of him. He checked in with 5 blocks and 4 kills.
It appeared the Bears might just blow the Pats off the court as the Lake Zurich lead was 17-6. The Pats didn't surrender that easily.
Again, Leonard notched a kill and added a serving ace. The Lake Zurich lead had been trimmed to 21-13. Again, the serving ace, Krasowski, stepped up for the home-standing Bears. Another ace found the floor, and yet another Amos block put this set on ice.
Chen's kill was the last point of the night for the Pats. And it was perfectly fitting that Amos finished the game with a kill honoring his mother.