Boys volleyball: St. Charles East rallies by Bartlett for regional crown
St. Charles East captain Colin Hanley wasn't about to let the volleyball season come to an end.
After his Saints were blitzed by No. 3 seeded Bartlett 25-17 in the first game of Wednesday's St. Charles North regional, Hanley addressed his team between the first and second game.
Hanley's teammates certainly heeded his words of wisdom.
St. Charles East rallied to win the second and third games 25-21, 25-21 to win the regional title.
"I told the guys we have been here before and we have come back many times this year," said Hanley. "We haven't been ranked all year but we need to play with confidence and we can win this match. We played better and blocked better in the second and third games. It is a great feeling to win the regional."
St. Charles East coach Kate McCullagh appreciates Hanley's leadership skills.
"I didn't have to say a word after the first game," said McCullagh. "Colin did all the talking and his teammates listened. It was an inspirational speech and the team responded. We played much better the second and third games and we blocked better. They got any block they wanted in the first game."
The Saints (22-9) advance to the Fremd sectional Friday to play Palatine at 6:30 p.m. The Pirates won the South Elgin regional. Bartlett ends its season at 25-6.
St. Charles East started the win or go home second game on a 9-3 run keyed by 3 kills from Mikelis Brunovskis.
The Hawks climbed to within 17-14 on a kill by Elijah Gregg. St. Charles East evened the match at 1-1 on a game-ending kill by Bayden Slavik.
The Saints continued the momentum from the second game into the third game jumping off to a 6-0 lead.
The Hawks refused to quit and got to within 20-18 after a kill by Toiyon Walton. Bartlett couldn't get any closer. A kill by Bill Stark gave the Saints the game, match and regional title.
"Spotting St. Charles (East) a 6-0 lead in the third game was just too much to overcome," said Bartlett coach Bob Schwan. "We played so well in the first game but give East credit they regrouped and played with a ton of energy. Hats off to them. A 25-6 record is nothing to scoff at. This loss is a tough pill to swallow and will sting for awhile."
Buskovich paced the Saints attack with 13 kills while Hanley collected 5. Slavik dished out 26 assists and Jacob Coker served 2 aces and defensively had 17 digs.
Bartlett was paced by Walton with 10 kills and 7 blocks. Jarod Bush had 9 kills and Garrett Jurina picked up 11 blocks. Lewis University bound setter Carter Burzlaff distributed 30 assists.