Boys volleyball: Hersey dumps Prospect to secure MSL East 3-peat
The Hersey boys volleyball team faced a difficult test in the latter stages of the Mid-Suburban League conference season.
To have a shot at winning a third consecutive MSL East title, the Huskies had to beat Wheeling, Buffalo Grove and Prospect in their final three division matches.
Hersey defeated the Wildcats and Bison last week, and Tuesday night the Huskies finished off the 3-peat by posting a 25-20, 25-17 victory over the Knights in Mount Prospect.
Huskies senior setter Jakub Migus has been on varsity for all three of the championships.
"Every week we've been getting better and better," said Migus. "One of our goals this year was to win the East so we could host the conference championship."
Hersey came in to play against the Knights tied in the division with BG and Wheeling as all three teams were 7-2, but the Huskies held the tiebreakers and knew they could take the crown with a win.
They wound up in a demanding battle against a tough Prospect team, as the Knights led Set 1 late and had their moments in the deciding game as well.
Logan Hiskes and Ben Miller each posted 10 kills for the home team.
"I was really happy with our performance in the first set," said Prospect coach Mike Riedy. "People were doing a nice job of serving well, playing aggressively and taking them out of system."
The Knights were out front in the first set but Hersey caught up at 20-20 on a kill from Carter Zagorski.
Another kill from Zagorski gave the Huskies the lead, then the senior served an ace on the next point to make it 22-20.
Hersey scored the next 3 points to win Game 1.
"We were very excited for this moment," said Zagorski. "We knew if we won this in two it would be huge for our chances, so we were a little excited and a little amped up. We had to settle down, focus on our passing and make sure we were locked into the game. I think we achieved that in the second set."
It was all Hersey in the second set as the Huskies doubled Prospect at 16-8 when Migus set Brent Gurvis for a spike.
Consecutive late kills from Miller then Zach Cacini helped the Knights draw closer, but Hersey lengthened the lead then closed out the match when Drew Zagorski hit the final kill.
"This is huge," added Carter Zagorski. "This is so much fun for our whole team. We've been working really hard. We battled though some adversity early in the year so to finish up the way we did at the end is sweet, and I couldn't have done it with a better group of guys."
Migus, Tim Nugent and Alec Naumowicz each had 2 blocks for Hersey. Nugent pitched in with 5 kills as did Carter Zagorski and Gurvis, while Jacob Tolwinski (9 digs) and Luke Larson (8 digs) paced the winners on defense.
"My goal (at the beginning of the season) was to win the division," said first-year Hersey coach Laura Gerber. "Not knowing the boys very well I wasn't sure how it was going to go, but once we had our first practice I knew we could do it. We have a lot of players who have been in the program for four years (the Huskies have eight seniors on the roster), and it's nice to be able to count on that experience. It's a strong group."
"I'm really proud of our guys. We had to beat three really tough teams in Wheeling, BG and Prospect so our backs were against the wall. For our guys to be able to get those wins is a great accomplishment."