Boys volleyball: Invitational provides a silver lining for Hersey

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/22/2017 5:45 PM
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  • Fremd's Aaron Peterson goes up for a block against Prospect's Matt Szuba during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg.

      Fremd's Aaron Peterson goes up for a block against Prospect's Matt Szuba during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Glenn Wiley goes up for a block on Fremd's Rocco Stella during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg.

      Prospect's Glenn Wiley goes up for a block on Fremd's Rocco Stella during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Tanner Yates, left, and Ben Cohen try for a block against Prospect's Connor Riordan during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg.

      Fremd's Tanner Yates, left, and Ben Cohen try for a block against Prospect's Connor Riordan during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Evan Sadlon, left, and Pat McPartlin try to block a shot by Fremd's Aaron Peterson during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School.

      Prospect's Evan Sadlon, left, and Pat McPartlin try to block a shot by Fremd's Aaron Peterson during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley's Luke Mahnke spikes past Carmel's Maksym Kolomayets, left and Mike Scott during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School.

      Huntley's Luke Mahnke spikes past Carmel's Maksym Kolomayets, left and Mike Scott during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley's Daniel Amin, left, and John Galason go for a block against Carmel's Kerrick Podgorski, during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School.

      Huntley's Daniel Amin, left, and John Galason go for a block against Carmel's Kerrick Podgorski, during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Ben Burkhalter, left, and Jimmy Harvey try to block a shot by Huntley's John Galason, during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School.

      Carmel's Ben Burkhalter, left, and Jimmy Harvey try to block a shot by Huntley's John Galason, during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Maksym Kolomayets of Carmel spikes a ball past Huntley's Nick Brimie, during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School.

      Maksym Kolomayets of Carmel spikes a ball past Huntley's Nick Brimie, during the boys volleyball tournament at Schaumburg High School. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

It doesn't seem to matter whether it's tournament action, Mid-Suburban League play or nonconference games.

The Hersey boys volleyball team just keeps on winning.

On Saturday at the Palatine-Schaumburg invite, the Huskies finished 4-1 to take the Silver Bracket (fifth place) title.

The only blemish, if you can call it that, for Hersey this weekend was a tough 23-25, 25-22, 14-16 loss to Glenbard North in the first match of pool play Friday evening.

"It was a shame that we were in the same pool as them," said Huskies coach Nancy Lill, referring to Glenbard North. "Last year here we were in the championship game against them, but it is what it is. After that loss we had the goal to win the next four games and we did that. The guys played solid volleyball."

Hersey improved to 16-2 and the only other team to beat them, Libertyville, won the overall crown Saturday with a title match win over Lake Zurich.

"It would have been nice to play them (Libertyville) here," said Lill, "but I have a feeling we'll be seeing them again before the season is over."

Hersey junior outside hitter Jake Mailloux finished with 44 kills on the day on 72-of-83 attacking; junior Joe Nugent added 24 kills while senior Patrick O'Brien hit 21 and setter Vince Reisel earned 120 assists.

"We'd all like to have that one back," said O'Brien of the loss to Glenbard North, "but we moved on and finished strong. I felt like our whole team played clean today and came together, especially our defense where Justin Hong was basically unstoppable."

Palatine enjoyed a strong tourney with a mark of 3-2, scoring victories over Joliet West, Proviso West and Waubonsie Valley.

"I felt like we made some improvements today, especially on defense," said Pirates acting coach Dan Gavin, who took the helm Saturday at Schaumburg as head coach Frank Stark had a family commitment.

"Confidence and experience breeds success," added Gavin, "and there's no question our guys will take lot of confidence out of the way they played today."

Palatine was led on attack by Matt Cooper (46-of-54 hitting, 27 kills) and Johnny O'Shea (61-73, 23 kills).

Sophomore setter Ben Rinella added 43 assists on the day.

"There were a lot of good teams out here," said sophomore setter Ben Rinella. "A lot of great competition, and we were moving the ball around, our hitters were executing, and we really picked I up on 'D'."

Schaumburg shook off a difficult pool play loss to Hersey by the mark of 24-26, 26-27 to get wins over Grant and Joliet West, while Prospect, led by 25 kills from senior outside Matt Szuba, ended the invitational Saturday on a high note win victories over MSL rivals Fremd and the Saxons.

In Hersey's Silver Bracket match win against Joliet Catholic, the hitters paced the set one win as O'Brien put down 3 consecutive kills mid-game, then hitter Mailloux closed out the game with 2 kills.

The score in the 2nd set stood 23-22 Huskies when a Hilltoppers serve went just beyond the end line for a Hersey sideout.

Then Hong set up Mailloux for the game-winning kill off a Joliet block attempt.

The Huskies strong showing came despite having two starters out -- Matt Hopkins (injury) and Christian Castro (family trip).

"We were kind of shorthanded ," said Lill, "but a lot of guys stepped up, especially Adrian Holubek, who really hadn't played before but was tremendous today. Basically all the guys played great."

Libero Hong was superlative on defense at the invitational with 77 total digs, and the senior also excelled with his jump-serve, scoring 5 aces.

"I felt that we played a lot better today than we did yesterday (in pool play), " said Hong. "We were less hesitant and all the guys stuck together."

And of the Huskies hot start, 16 matches won already this season, O'Brien said it hasn't been a surprise.

"I did kind of expect it," said O'Brien. "We're more than capable at every position. But now that it (the winning) is happening, it's pretty cool to see."

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