Boys volleyball: Barrington rallies to beat Hononegah, earn trip to state
After losing to No. 2-seeded Rockton Hononegah 25-18 in the first set of the Grant sectional championship game, the top-seeded Barrington boys volleyball team needed to regroup in a hurry Tuesday night.
And behind some strong all-around play, the Broncos did just that as they posted a 25-21 victory in the second set before winning the match with a 25-18 triumph in the third set to advance to the IHSA Elite Eight state tournament Friday at Hoffman Estates.
Barrington (30-7) will face Lincoln-Way West sectional champ O'Fallon in the state quarterfinals Friday at 1 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Final Four against either Brother Rice or Lyons on Saturday.
As Barrington coach Charlie Spry said, it was a team win as far as everyone contributing. But it was the leadership of 6-foot-11 Cole Hartke and senior teammate Carsten Wegh that really helped turn the tide in favor of the Broncos in sets two and three.
Tied at 19-19 in set two, a block and a tap-shot by Wegh gave Barrington a 24-20 lead before a spike by teammate Matt Louis sealed the win to force the third and deciding set.
"Our team is always a slow-starter so I knew we would come back in the second set and we carried the momentum into the third set," said Wegh. "We have to bring out the energy and fun and I know we'll win (on Friday)."
The Broncos have been tested recently as Lake Zurich took them to three sets in the regional finals before they outlasted the Indians in three sets for the sectional crown.
"I give a ton of credit to them (Hononegah), and I was really impressed with them," said Spry. "Slowly but surely we made our way back, and huge props to all of our guys. I consider that a team win as far as everyone contributing."
Hononegah's Braydon Savistki Lyde was a huge factor on the attack in the first game, but Barrington's defense did a better job of containing him in the final two sets.
In set three, two service points by Peter Wawrzyniak (on 2 kills by Hartke) made the score 20-16 before two points by teammate Adrian Wu made the score 23-17. A failed dink-shot attempt by Rockton's Parker Fearn Schoville ultimately sealed the Indians' fate on match point.
Sophomore starters Eli Rodda and John Sun were steady performers throughout the match for the Broncos as were teammates Marc Gryzlo and Gavin Rohlwing.
"I think we were really nervous in the first set," said Hartke. "Our goal is to win state, and we're going to have to have some great serve and pass."