Boys volleyball: Lake Zurich comes back to down Libertyville
Come on now. That had to be some kind of a record. One thing is clear -- Evan Bajerski, a junior middle blocker for Lake Zurich's boys volleyball team, is a blocking machine.
On paper the match at Libertyville wasn't supposed to be close. The Wildcats (2-17) just have had a hard campaign. Officially, there were nine ties in the opening set at Libertyville on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats stunned the Bears by taking set one, 26-24.
"Nobody was playing well for us,'' Bajerski noted. "We were slow to move around."
And then what happened?
"That first set made us mad,'' Bajerski added.
Bajerski (8 kills, 8 blocks) led the way for the Bears (11-9, 2-2) as they rallied to take the North Suburban Conference match, 24-26, 25-18, 25-12.
"I've been on varsity for three years,'' Bajerski said. "This team has a lot of potential. This is the best hitters I've seen here. When we play together, we can beat anybody."
One of the big Lake Zurich hitters is Bartosz Wielgos. He finished with 10 kills. He also features a nasty serve. It was off in set one.
"I'm blaming that on my new shoes,'' Wielgos joked. "Libertyville was very scrappy tonight. And their serving was really good, too."
For the home-standing Wildcats, grabbing the first set was a moral victory.
"We had a good game plan,'' said Libertyville coach Jenny Smith. "I'm really proud of the guys. And it was a step in the right direction."
With Alec Weick serving for the Cats in the second set, Patrick Graham and Chris Mack lodged kills as Libertyville opened a 6-4 lead. The blocking machine, Bajerski, put a block up and Wielgos a kill and the Bears were up 13-11.
"Libertyville is a scrappy team,'' said Lake Zurich coach Lesly Ravenscraft. "We just came out sluggish."
With Robert Mepham serving in set two, Wielgos had a kill and two Cats errors made the score 21-16.
In the final set, Logan Schaedel and Lukas Pytlak had kills as the Bears surged to a 13-8 lead.
Pytlak had 3 kills, 3 blocks and 5 digs. Fellow Bear Marcel Wiechnik had 3 kills and 3 blocks. Schaedel had 3 kills and 2 blocks.
Patrick Graham led the Wildcats with 7 kills and 8 digs. Weick and Duffy both had 5 kills. Duffy added 4 blocks. Ben Moss had 5 blocks and Matt Apgar had 17 assists.