Boys volleyball: Libertyville avenges Stevenson loss, wins regional

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/27/2022 9:36 AM
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that Hersey won its first regional title since 2017.

Lost of things can change in eight days.

Especially an outcome.

 

After being swept by conference-rival Stevenson just over a week ago, Libertyville came back to stun the top sectional seeded Patriots 25-19, 25-22 to win the regional title Thursday in Lincolnshire.

Libertyville (19-13) had been swept by Stevenson 25-14, 25-16 on May 18. But the Wildcats came out inspired to win their first regional title since 2018.

"Our boys came ready to play tonight and executed a tough game plan," Libertyville coach Jenny Smith said. "We were able to control the match from the service line, and really focused on a disciplined defense, from the block to our back row."

Libertyville, which will advance to the Warren sectional on Saturday afternoon, was led by Patrick Akers, who had a team-high 10 kills, 2 blocks, 10 digs and an ace. Chase Bonder had 8 blocks and 4 kills, Oliver Sikora had 7 kills and 6 blocks, Mack Imm 3 blocks and one kill and Aleks Slesers, who had 3 kills and 6 digs. Also, Luis Correa had 17 assists, 6 digs and two aces, Ethan Lindberg had 7 assists and 7 digs, and Reece Wiatrowski had 15 digs and one assist.

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Stevenson (31-5) was led by Sam Nuudel, who had 8 kills and Karl Lutz who had 7 kills.

Libertyville will play Antioch at the Warren sectional Saturday at 9 a.m.

Antioch def. Lakes:

Antioch was swept away in their two matches with Lakes this season. But the 7th-seeded Sequoits (14-15) found a way to advance to win their first regional title beating Lakes 25-23, 25-27, 25-21 at Rockford Boylan.

Lakes (19-18) was led by Erik Stover (14 kills, 6 digs, 1 block), Will Haak (30 assists, 7 digs, 1 ace), Danny Modell (12 digs, 2 aces), David Synovic (7 kills, 2 blocks) and Kaden Martin (7 kills, 4 blocks).

Vernon Hills def. Carmel:

Vernon Hills fought its way back to knock off Carmel 21-25. 25-23, 25-16 to win its regional.

The second-seeded Cougars (29-8), which lost to Carmel in three sets on May 14, found themselves in a hole after the first set. That hole felt even deeper when Carmel (21-15) led by three midway through the second set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We got over our emotional jitters," Vernon Hills coach Chris Curry said. "Our guys know their guys real well. We started to make some better setting choices and played better defense."

David Rzepa, who was 21-of-22 with 14 kills, 3 blocks and two aces, led the comeback for the Cougars. Adam Gerken had 5 kills and two 2 digs, Max March came up with 4 blocks and 4 kills and Tommy Winegardner had 8 kills. Senior setters Kevin Schumacher, who had 21 assists and 4 digs along with Erik Giezycki (17 assists, 1 ace, 9 kills, 5 digs) helped moved the offense.

Libero Evan Hessel (11 digs, 1 ace) and Kavin Manivasagam (6 digs, 2 aces) also came up big for the Cougars who play Hononegah at the Warren sectional Saturday at 10 a.m.

Rockton Hononegah def. Grant:

Top-seeded and unbeaten Hononegah (24-0) was too much for Grant, sweeping the Bulldogs 25-20, 25-19. Ethan Yang had 4 kills and 4 digs, Jason Lackhouse 3 kills and two digs while Ryan Rossini had 14 assists and 3 kills for Grant (16-21).

Hersey def. Loyola:

A trip to Chicago worked out just fine for the Huskies. Hersey won its first regional title since 2017 by upending Loyola 25-16, 19-25, 26-24 at Lycee Francais de Chicago.

Hersey (28-8), which is seeded fourth, will meet top-seeded Glenbrook North on Saturday at Glenbrook South at 2 p.m.

Buffalo Grove def. Glenbrook South:

Buffalo Grove won a regional title at the Titan Dome in Glenview. The Bison dropped the opener but recovered for an exciting 19-25, 25-20, 26-24 win.

Connor Dell led Buffalo Grove, which won its second consecutive regional title, with 18 kills and 4 blocks. Dan Feder had 7 kills, Colin Shin 5 kills and Piotr Wymoczyt had 3 kills and 6 blocks.

Third-seeded Buffalo Grove (30-7) will play second-seed New Trier Saturday at the Glenbrook South sectional at 3 p.m.

New Trier def. Maine South:

Maine South (25-13) just couldn't close out the Trevians in Park Ridge. After winning the first set, Maine South, which had beaten New Trier (26-7) twice this past season, fell 19-25, 25-19, 25-21.

Conant def. Rolling Meadows:

It was like looking into a mirror for Conant as the fifth-seeded Cougars swept Rolling Meadows 25-20, 25-20 in the regional final at Larkin.

Michael Recko led Conant (27-9) with 10 kills and two aces. Nick Gutka and Nic Breiter each had three kills. Dhruv Patel had 12 assists while Dilan Patel had 13 digs for the Cougars who advance to Saturday's Schaumburg sectional against Glenbard West at 2:30 p.m.

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