Boys volleyball: Stevenson's all set after topping stubborn Lake Zurich
This is the story of the backup setter. Stevenson senior Haddon Kay sits on the bench.
Stevenson's setting position belongs to Will Sorenson. He can do it all. The junior plays tough defense and blocks well at the net.
Wednesday night at home, the Patriots were heavy favorites as 6-game winner Lake Zurich visited. However, the first set was tight early before Stevenson pulled away, 25-17.
Stevenson's lead in the second set was 17-12. It didn't last. Heavy-hitting Bartosz Wielgos (12 kills) was a factor at the net, as Lake Zurich stunned the Pats, 25-22.
Changes were made. Kay stepped on the court with the third set knotted at 8-8. Stevenson blitzed the Bears from there on out to capture a 25-17, 22-25, 25-12 decision in North Suburban Conference action.
"I got into a home game in a similar situation," Kay said. "Our blocking stepped up in that third set. And our passing got under control."
Stevenson coach Eric Goolish feels for his second setter.
"Haddon is a great volleyball player," Goolish said after the Patriots (20-5, 4-1) hit the 20-win mark. "Both of these guys (Sorenson and Kay) deserved to be on the court. Will is with the starting group. But Haddon knows we can throw him in. We are lucky to have them both."
In the opening set, Stevenson's lead was just 16-15. That's when Leo Chen (10 kills) went into serve for the Patriots. Sophomore Gavin Ming had 3 kills down the stretch, as the home team pulled away.
Justin Ross supplied a block and the Patriots were off and running in the second set. Their lead was 13-6 when Lake Zurich (6-14) made a move with Daniel Young serving. Marcel Wiechnik supplied a block, and Evan Bajerski had a kill to get the visitors within 22-19.
Another sophomore, Lukas Pytlak, went into serve for the Bears. Bajerski (6 kills) checked in with another kill, Wiechnik had a big block, and the Bears won the set.
"This group fights back," Lake Zurich coach Lesly Ravenscraft said. "We are still a young team. We've been a little inconsistent this year. We know we have the talent here."
Kay complimented the Bears.
"They have a big front row," he said.
Another Bajerski kill gave Lake Zurich an early 5-3 lead in the final set. The tide turned with Stevenson's Alex Bian at the line. Ross and Chen checked in with kills, and the lead was 16-10. George Lie was next to serve, and Matt Cliffer (9 kills) provided a pair of blocks.
Kay finished the match with a block. Sorenson finished with 22 assists, and Kay dished out four.
"Will has been playing very well," Kay said.
Goolish felt good that his front row supplied 14 blocks in the three sets.
"That's a fabulous number," he said.