Boys volleyball: Stevenson dumps Lakes
As the late great rock legend Tom Petty famously sung, "The Waiting Is The Hardest Part."
Which Stevenson's boys volleyball squad had to do since Saturday afternoon when the Patriots departed Joliet West's tournament having lost in the finals to the host school after winning its first four games there.
Stevenson attempted to get back on track in its home opener versus reigning Northern Lake County Conference champion Lakes Tuesday evening.
When all was said and done, it was quite a successful attempt as the Patriots powered their way past the visitors from Lake Villa in a two-game 25-18, 25-10 sweep in Lincolnshire.
"We had a great (season) opening (home) game and we can hopefully build off of this," said Patriots junior hitter Sam Nuudel, who had 9 kills, 2 aces, and 2 assists to pace Stevenson (5-1).
In what turned out to be game one's decisive portion, Sam Nuudel would set up his older brother, senior setter Dan, on the first of consecutive kills as part of a 6-1 surge that allowed to pull away from Lakes giving the Pats a 23-17 edge that they never relinquished.
The second game saw senior hitter Christian Headley (5 aces, 5 kills) connect on a trio of kills that launched a 19-4 run that ended both the game and the match.
"We're a smaller team so we to play fast. We have to spread the floor, we have to play quick and they're definitely doing that," Stevenson coach Eric Goolish said. "We're definitely happy how we're moving along. What we're working on is what we're getting better at which is a really good sign."
The Eagles (0-2) were led by sophomore Erik Stover (5 kills, 1 block) and junior Kaden Martin (3 kills, 1 ace).
First-year Lakes coach Greg Bruns spoke of his young team's effort.
"We have a mix of some club players, some that aren't, some that haven't played much," he said. "They tried. They were a little shaken up with some of the quick stuff that was run. They're not experienced enough (yet)."
For the Patriots, Dan Nuudel talked about his team's strongest asset going forward this spring -- having a cohesive unit.
"A lot of us do team bonding outside of practice and we're generally a really close team which makes it super fun," he said. "Everyone is very humble and we all like each other, so I'm just so glad to be on this team."