Waubonsie Valley defeats Naperville Central in three sets
Early in Thursday's Waubonsie Valley at Naperville Central boys volleyball match, a hit sent the ball into the rafters of the gym, where it stayed.
Then came plenty of actual volleyball highlights as Waubonsie fought off Naperville Central to win 25-18, 22-25 and 25-18.
It had been all Redhawks (6-20, 0-5 DuPage Valley Conference) in Set 2, and Warriors coach Noel Soto said adjustments had to be made.
"We know who their back hitters are and we knew we had to take away their weapons and we cleaned up some things in that third game. We had a lot of unforced errors in that second game," Soto said.
DVC teams play each other twice during the regular season and it was Waubonsie's second win over Naperville Central.
The Warriors (16-13, 2-3) led for practically all of Set 3 with a hit by Colin Bishop that put Waubonsie up 21-12. An ace by Naperville Central's Max Grumbles was the final of four unanswered points by the Redhawks to cut the lead to five at 21-16. But the Warriors got four of the last six points scored.
"We know them. We played them before and for some reason we cooled off. (The Redhawks) showed they can put up a fight," said Andrej Moller, who finished with seven kills.
The Redhawks led from the start in Set 2 and a kill by Lucas Johnson put his team up 20-14, the biggest lead Naperville Central enjoyed twice during the set. A hitting error by the Redhawks cut their lead to 22-20, but the squad prevailed.
"I think it was us coming together as a team and getting the energy back up after the second set. Naperville Central is a good team and it was hard to beat them," said Waubonsie senior Max Hubenko, who led the team with 10 kills.
Naperville Central coach Eric Kaisling said the Redhawks were successful for one reason in the second set.
"Our ball control was significantly better than in the third set," he said. "We were able to run a balanced attack."
Other performances of note by the Warriors included Rishi Menon and Gavin Kerr with 12 and 11 assists, respectively. Tyler Vazquez had 22 digs.
"We feel we can progress even more and be a lot sharper by the end of the season," Vazquez said.
For Naperville Central, Wyatt Yager had 14 assists and five digs.
"This team works hard all the time. They are a great group of guys," Kaisling said.