Boys volleyball: Lake Park dispatches Glenbard North, heads to state
Playing in a sectional final on their home floor in front of a packed house, the stage was set for the Lake Park Lancers to make a bold statement. And did they ever.
The Lancers jumped ahead quickly in both games and rolled to a 25-17, 25-16 win against Glenbard North and the Lake Park boys volleyball sectional title. The Lancers won their seventh such title and will play again at 5 p.m. Friday at Glenbard West against the winner of Lane and Oak Park-River Forest.
On Tuesday, the Lancers took advantage of their size and athleticism to attack the Panthers. Josh Schellinger had 9 kills and fellow outside hitter Andrew Deardorff added 7 for the Lancers (23-1).
Setter Elijah Wrobel assisted 19 times, and libero Jack Sampson had 6 digs for the Lancers.
Tyler Tripp had 3 kills and Joey Szadorski 2 for Glenbard North.
"It's a great feeling," said Schellinger. "Obviously, I haven't had a season since my sophomore year and our team won the regional that year but it was kind of short-lived. The feeling is amazing. To see the full stands after having a whole season without any people really being able to go to our games at all, it's just a great feeling."
The match felt like something of an unveiling for the Lancers, playing for the first time since the lifting of the state's COVID-19 restrictions last week.
"For awhile it didn't feel like it was going to be a possibility," said Lancers coach Brian Fischer. "So we're very blessed to have the opportunity to do this. It almost feels normal."
Fast starts were key in both sets for Lake Park. The Lancers raced out to a 6-1 advantage in the first set. They built the lead to 22-14 in the late going before the Panthers rallied. Glenbard North scored 3 straight points to make it 22-17, but a service error gave Lake Park the serve with 2 points to go. Kills by Schellinger and Deardorff, appropriately, finished it out.
"We talk about quick starts all the time, especially in a game like this where there's a lot of brewing energy from the day and just to kind of handle that, to come in and compose ourselves," Fischer said. "So it was great to see that they did that both sets."
Set 2 was more of the same as Lake Park led 8-2 and 12-4. The Lancers built their edge to 22-11 on a Deardorff kill before another Panthers rally. Glenbard North scored 4 straight to make it 22-15 before another service error ended the brief surge. Two thundering kills by Deardorff sandwiched around a service error ended it.