Boys volleyball: Carmel Catholic stops Rolling Meadows in battle of unbeaten teams
With some strong play from start to finish, visiting Carmel Catholic remained undefeated on the 2021 boys volleyball season with a nonconference victory at Rolling Meadows Monday night.
After rolling to a 25-17 victory over the Mustangs in the opening set, the Corsairs pulled away from Rolling Meadows in the second set as they posted a 25-18 win to win the match in two games.
Carmel (5-0) took a commanding 11-4 lead over the previously undefeated Mustangs (5-1) in the opener as Rolling Meadows came out a bit flat-footed on its senior night.
A kill by Carmel's Zach Marcheschi boosted the lead to 20-10 before a kill by Matt Herron ultimately put the Mustangs away in the first set. Senior Andersen Ptasienski led the Corsairs with 11 kills overall while Herron had 6 kills. Timmy Harvey chipped in 3 kills for Carmel.
"We played really clean tonight all the way across the board and as a coach it was fun to watch," said Carmel coach Kevin Nylen. "In the second game it's kudos to Rolling Meadows. They're a really good team and they played better."
Rolling Meadows took its first lead of the match early in the second set as a service point by Jorge Sanchez gave the Mustangs a brief 6-5 lead.
But after a 9-9 tie, Carmel came surging back behind the passing of Bobby Szamocki (12 assists), and Mario Durnil (11 assists) as a big spike by Ptasienski made the score 23-17 late in the match.
"We all played great together, our setters are great, and once we get going we don't stop," Ptasienski said. "Matt (Herron) is a great player, I've known him for a long time, he always has a great attitude, and we just need to keep our energy up as a team."
Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Bourn said his team was caught a bit off guard by Carmel's strong play and aggressive attacking at the net.
"They pushed us in ways that we haven't been pushed yet this season and they kind of exposed some of our weaknesses," said Bourn. "We had trouble dealing with their quick-tempo offense, and our blockers are used to being able to take their time and just count on being bigger than other teams. Tonight we had to be faster and bigger, and they kind took advantage of that matchup tonight.
"They were just sound, they made us earn every single point we got and we weren't necessarily making them do the same," added Bourn, whose team is 3-0 in the Mid-Suburban League. "I'm hoping that by getting some weaknesses exposed tonight it gave us some more things to work on and tighten up a little bit."