Boys volleyball: Bauer, Warren flatten Stevenson

 
 
Updated 4/19/2016 9:33 PM
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Pizza was being scarfed down by just about every Warren volleyball player after Tuesday's match against Stevenson.

But a pancake was actually the hot topic of conversation.

Brett Bauer, a junior middle hitter known mostly for his blocks and kills, came up with the defensive play of the night in Gurnee.

Stretching out his entire body as he dove to the floor on the front left side, Bauer got the back of his hand, just in the nick of time, on a soft kill attempt by Stevenson that fell quickly, just over the net.

The dig by Bauer, called a pancake dig, helped Warren secure the 24th point of the second game, and set up match point.

The Blue Devils finished off the game on the next serve to sweep visiting Stevenson, 27-25, 25-21 in North Suburban Conference Lake Division play. Warren, which started off the season 1-6, has now won its last four games and is 8-8 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the Lake Division.

Stevenson is now 9-10.

"I've never gotten a pancake in a game before," said Bauer, who was among his team's leaders in kills with 3. "It was (legit). I got (a hand) on it. I just knew they were going to tip short right. I knew they weren't going to swing deep, so I just dove all out.

"That was like getting a bounce ball (a kill that bounces hard off the ground). That was so exciting. I think it definitely kept the energy all the way through (match point)."

Bauer then served match point for the Blue Devils.

Senior outside hitter Zach Schultz also came up big down the stretch for Warren. He had 3 kills over the last 5 points.

Schultz, who has grown his beach-blonde hair out to a long wavy surfer look, was unmistakable in look and performance. Each of his hit attempts packed plenty of power. He tied Mihajlo Gomez with a team-leading 4 kills.

"I think the long hair is helping me (play better)," Schultz said with a laugh. "I think we were having fun and being competitive. And we showed our biggest strength which is our versatility. Every player (like Bauer getting a pancake dig) is able to do many jobs."

Schultz also had 10 digs, tying Maui Viola for most on the team. Jaxon Bongratz chipped in with 8 digs.

Setter Aaron Wagan had 12 assists for Warren while Kyle Wells added 6 assists.

"We had a lot of players missing at the beginning of the season with Spring Break and illness and now we're getting everyone back and we've had more consistent play," Warren coach Yun Chen said. "That really helps.

"We played really well tonight. This is the first match we've won in two games and closed out. The guys have been working really hard."

Like Warren, Stevenson has been up and down, thanks to injuries and illnesses. The Patriots have been missing starters all through the season.

"We are just not mentally strong enough right now," said senior outside hitter Alex Pieprzycki, who tied Matt Cliffer with a team-high 6 kills. "Every single player on the team has amazing talent and ability and when we play together as a whole, we can do amazing things.

"Right now, we're focusing too much on our errors rather than the positive things in our game."

Matt Kanaris added 5 kills for Stevenson, which also got 19 assists from Jeffrey Wang.

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