Boys volleyball: Palatine serves up a championship at Palatine-Schaumburg Invite
Palatine's Tim Matijevic knows all about service. He has a brother who is a fireman, another brother who is a police officer and a third brother studying for the priesthood.
So it was natural for Matijevic to serve up 7 consecutive points in the second game of his team's boys volleyball match with Hersey Saturday in the semifinals of the Palatine-Schaumburg Invitational at Palatine.
Matijevic helped spark Palatine, which had dropped the opening game of the match 25-21, to win the second game of the match 25-20. The Pirates went on to capture the third game 25-19, advancing Palatine to the title match against Lake Zurich.
In the championship, Palatine's Aaron Spaletto was nearly unstoppable as the Pirates blew past the Bears 25-22, 25-15 to capture the tournament title.
"It is special to win our own tournament," Palatine coach Peter Gavin said. "I don't know when the last time we were able to do that. But these guys are pretty excited."
Palatine (21-1) had dropped the first game of its semifinal match to an inspired Hersey squad. The Huskies (14-4) were ahead 19-15 when a side out gave Palatine and Matijevic their opportunity.
Matijevic seized the chance, nailing an ace. That triggered the Pirates to explode behind Matijevic and when he left the serving box, his team was ahead 23-20.
"I just wanted to help my team and power through my serves," said Matijevic, who plans to be a police officer after he completes college.
"I really wanted to help us get on a run and change the momentum."
With that accomplished, Palatine moved into the title match against Lake Zurich (10-7), which knocked off Glenbard North 25-13, 17-25, 25-20 in the other semifinal.
Palatine was able to pull away from a 16-16 tie to race to a 25-22 win in Game 1. Spaletto was able to help the Pirates close out the win with kills on 7 of Palatine's final 9 points.
Spaletto and Palatine kept up the pressure in the second game to win 25-15.
With his team leading 7-5, Spaletto served the Pirates to 6 consecutive points. Spaletto had 3 aces during that span.
"Just the whole tournament I have been playing much better," Spaletto said "I just changed my mindset. I just want to play some good volleyball and I don't care about the errors. If there are errors, just move on to the next point."
Curtis McLennan led Palatine in the tournament with 43 kills and 4 aces. Matijevic had 29 kills and 8 aces, Nate Jones had 27 kills and 4 aces, Spaletto ad 22 kills and 6 aces while Ben Rhineland had 117 assists.
Lake Zurich coach Lesly Ravenscraft said the semifinal games took a lot out of her team.
"We kind of struggled in the championship game," Ravenscraft said. "We have been struggling with finishing a match strong. It is about trying to keep up that intensity."
The Bears were led by Bartosz Wieglos, who had 12 kills in the championship round games. Evan Bajerski had 13 kills and 2 blocks, Lukas Pytlak had 8 kills and Marcel Wiechnik had 7 kills and 7 blocks.
After its disappointing loss in the semifinals, Hersey came back to beat Glenbard North 25-22, 25-21.
Hersey was led in the tournament by Tim Nugent and Carter Zagorski who each had 30 kills and 6 aces in the Huskies' five games. Brent Gurvis had 24 kills and Jacob Migus had 98 assists.
"I was proud of the boys that they were able to bounce back," Hersey coach Laura Gerber said. "They were able to dig down and play their game."
Glenbard North (9-12) played very well to win its pool on Thursday. But the Panthers couldn't sustain that in the championship round.
"Our performance in the tournament gives us something to push forward with," Glenbard North coach Dedra Debenetti said "We are seeing a little more of our potential and how we can play."
Glenbard North got 15 kills from Aaron Fajardo on Saturday. Alex Fiduccia had 10 kills, Ian Krohn 6 kills and 2 block kills, Mike Dxiewior 5 kills and 6 block kills and Kameron Alwan had 40 assists.
Carmel went 2-3 for the tournament, good for 11th place, and is now 11-11 for the season.
The Corsairs defeated Grant and Libertyville but lost to Palatine, Prospect and Waubonsie Valley.
Leading Carmel were Mike Scott (62 kills, 8 aces), Andersen Ptasienski (14 kills, 4 aces), Camden Strutzel (8 kills), Abe Ptasienski (6 kills), David Foecking (5 kills), Sean Seidl (2 kills, 5 aces, 81 assists), Alex Thiel (21 assists), Matt Herron (25 digs) and David Jakubek (19 digs).