Boys volleyball: Barrington comes up big against Vernon Hills

By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/23/2018 9:09 PM

Take us back to when you got your driver's license, Michael O'toole.

"I was 5 feet 11, 125 pounds," O'toole said. "I grew my junior year."

Yes, he's grown since he was 16. He now stands 6-5.

The Barrington senior was the best player on the volleyball court on Wednesday night in the Lake Zurich regional final. He pounded out 12 kills, as No. 2 Barrington outlasted No. 7 Vernon Hills 25-19, 25-20.

Barrington (32-5) will head to Grant, where the Broncos will play in Friday's 6:30 p.m. sectional semifinal against No. 6 Carmel Catholic.

"Michael was a backup on the JV team," Barrington coach Rob Ridenour said of O'toole. "He just grew a ton."

O'toole will head to Georgia Tech and study chemical engineering.

"I might play club," he said.

Vernon Hills (17-20) had some early leads, but each time O'toole stepped up and killed a ball.

"He's a ton," Vernon Hills coach Chris Curry said. "He was hitting over our players."

Barrington's lead was 16-13 in the opening set on yet another O'toole kill.

"I love this team," O'toole said. "These are friends forever. I'm going to come back next year and see the juniors."

Vernon Hills proved to be a strong defensive club in its final match.

"Our defense has improved," Curry said. "So has our intensity and hustle. Barrington was a lot bigger and more athletic than us. But we gave them an honest challenge."

Set two was again close for a while.

"This was a good match," Ridenour said. "We haven't lost a match since April. We survived tonight."

Vernon Hills forged a 5-5 after a kill from Jack McDonald (5 kills). Petar Lumovic (4 kills) notched a kill as the Broncos moved up front at 10-8.

"We had some blocking early," Curry said. "And some unforced errors."

The Cougars cut the second-set lead to 19-15 on a Joey Reyes kill. Consecutive kills from Lumovic secured Barrington's win.

Drake DeBoer added 5 kills to the Vernon Hills side. John Otoo had 4 kills. Libero Sammy Adkisson notched 20 digs, and setter Jonathan Wallach had 9 assists.

Barrington setter Evan Carroll had 20 assists, Gabe Hartke had 4 kills, and O'toole added 5 digs.

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