Boys volleyball: Benet battles past Carmel in 3 sets

 
By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/21/2022 10:02 PM

It was an up-and-down performance for the Benet Academy boys volleyball team when the Redwings visited Carmel Catholic Thursday night in an East Suburban Catholic Conference match in Mundelein.

The Redwings showed incredible firepower in winning the first set by a comfortable 25-16 score over the shellshocked Corsairs (10-5, 1-1).

 

But Carmel was able to respond strongly in the second set as they stole the momentum back with a 25-21 win to force the deciding third set.

Benet (11-6, 1-1) built an early 6-2 lead and never look back as it posted a 25-18 victory for a pretty hard-fought ESCC win over the stubborn Corsairs.

The Redwings got a lot of success from 6-foot-7 senior Peter Shanley as Shanley had a team-high 9 kills while teammate Owen Oei was very effective at the net with 8 kills.

Sophomore Dominic Krzeczkowski was also a big factor on the attack for Benet with 6 kills while teammate Andrew Rogers had 5 kills.

"You know it's just one of those learning experiences where after those big sets where you play really well you just expect things to go well in the next set," said Benet coach Jeff Steinberg. "It's nice to see that we bounced back in the third set and we went back to how we were playing at the start of the match. But we have to learn how to prevent that fall in the second set and that's something we're working on."

After a 9-9 tie in the second set, Carmel started to pull away as a kill by Keelen Douglas (team-high 9 kills) gave the Corsairs a 17-13 lead. Tommy Sulfridge was also had a huge match for Carmel with 7 kills while junior teammate Dylan Franada had 6 kills against the tough Redwings defense. A block by Sulfridge sealed the host's 25-21 victory in the second set.

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"They took us out of our element in that first set. Once we got over the shock of that and started playing our game we played a much smarter second set," said Carmel coach Kevin Nylen. "In set three it was mostly our hitting errors that hurt us."

Four service points by Rogers gave Benet a commanding 17-8 lead in the final set before a kill by senior teammate Alex Thomas really put the Corsairs' backs to the wall trailing 22-16.

A kill by Oei made the score 24-18 before a hitting error by Carmel clinched the 25-18 victory and the match for the Redwings.

"I think in the second set we kind of just thought we would have an easy set, and they came with fire in the second set," said Shanley, who had numerous blocks in the contest. "The third set we knew we had to go hard and take care of business and that is what we did. We were missing one of our outsides (Kovas Neverauskas) who was sick today, but the sets were there, and it was pretty easy attacking on their blocks."

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