Boys volleyball: Barrington wins MSL title game classic over Buffalo Grove
Barrington and Buffalo Grove treated fans to a Mid-Suburban League boys volleyball conference championship for the ages Thursday night.
In a game filled with more intrigue than an Agatha Christie novel and more twists and turns than a Rocky Mountain highway, the host Broncos rallied late in set three to score a 25-20, 22-25, 26-24 win.
Barrington senior middle Caleb Rohlwing came up big down the stretch to help secure the victory.
"I just tried to be the best player I could be, and play my role," said Rohlwing.
"The past month or so he's kind of been our go to guy on offense," said Broncos first-year coach Charlie Spry of Rohlwing. "He's just been phenomenal and it's fun to see how strong he is in the middle."
BG took a late two-point lead in the deciding game, but Broncos senior Jack O'Riordan, the MSL West player of the year, led a comeback from the service line.
"It's a good rivalry," said BG coach Tim Kosiek. "All these guys out here love the game and appreciate the game, and I'm happy with where we're at right now."
"Both teams battled back and forth, and to Barrington's credit they capitalized at the end. But I thought we played awesome volleyball, on both sides, defensively and offensively. It's some of the best volleyball I've seen all year, and to be honest, in years."
Broncos junior right side Joe Davey came up some key kills in the first game to give Barrington a one set lead.
Then the momentum turned in the second game when Bison libero AJ Ratzki somehow chased down a wayward ball and with his back to net, delivered a perfect no-look set to teammate Connor Dell, who put it down for a kill.
That gave BG a lead and sparked them to a game two win.
"They were taking it to us," said Spry of BG. "I have a ton of respect for the way they came in here and played at such a high level in a conference championship."
The Bison were down by three late in the deciding set but rallied to take a 22-20 lead behind the hitting and blocking of senior Piotr Wymoczyl, the East division player of the year.
But after a sideout, and with O'Riordan dealing from the service line and Rohlwing getting two consecutive kills, the Broncos tied the game at 24-24.
Barrington took a 25-24 lead on a BG error, and with the crowd roaring, volleyball proved how it can be a game of inches -- or even millimeters.
BG thought it had a kill to tie the game up, but the ball was ruled to have landed just out, beyond the sideline, and Barrington was celebrating its title.
O'Riordan had 15 kills for the Broncos, while libero Marc Gryzlo pitched in with 8 digs.
"We wish this (match) would have fallen our way," said Kosiek, "but the way we played tonight gave me a lot of encouragement as we look forward to next week. If we play like that we're going to make a run in the postseason and we're excited about that."