Elk Grove steadily gets past Palatine
Palatine started Tuesday's boys volleyball match against visiting Elk Grove in the best possible way -- getting a monster kill from senior Ryan Campbell.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, although they kept hitting the ball hard, they couldn't keep it between the lines.
The consistent Grenadiers, led by 20 assists and 5 kills by setter Ray Kraus, defeated misfiring Palatine 25-22, 25-15 in a Mid-Suburban League crossover.
The Pirates came in with a lot of energy after securing a tournament championship last weekend at Hoffman Estates, where they won all four matches.
Palatine couldn't sustain that momentum against the Grens, however, as they had 12 hitting errors in the first set alone.
"We counted 30 of Elk Grove's 50 points coming on unforced errors by us," said Palatine coach Frank Stark. "The guys were a little excited tonight, and they have to learn when to take a little bit off their swing.
"But you've got to give a lot of credit for tonight's result to Elk Grove. They played extremely well."
The Grens were basking in the glow of a strong opening weekend as well. Elk Grove took third at Marist with a mark of 4-1.
"I was a little nervous tonight," said Grens libero Anthony Prochenski, "but I was also confident after our performance at Marist. We've got a very good team this year and I have a lot of trust in my teammates."
The home team kept things close early, but Elk Grove (5-1) grabbed a 12-9 first set lead after two consecutive block kills in the middle from Sam Jasutis.
"Things were clicking," said Jasutis. "We've got a lot of guys who can put the ball down, but I was more impressed with our defense tonight. They were picking up everything."
Palatine (4-1) got back into set one late when Campbell served up two consecutive aces, pulling the Pirates to within 21-20.
"I was proud of Ryan and Tyler (Kendzior)," said Stark. "They're three year varsity starters and they both played great tonight."
Elk Grove closed out game one when Kraus set up Kevin Wickstrom for a couiple of kills, then the Grens ran out to a 21-13 lead in the second game.
Wickstrom had the final two kills for Elk Grove to close out the match.
Campbell and Kendzior each swatted 9 kills for Palatine, while Wickstrom had a team high 7 for the Grens.
"We're playing well," said Prochenski. "We've got a ton of confidence."
Conant d. Wheeling: The Cougars bounced back from a first-set loss to prevail 23-25, 25-15, 26-24 behind 11 kills apiece from Tim Breiter and Nick Pope. Nate Armando led Conant (2-1) with 30 assists, and Pope had a team-best 18 digs.
Alex Ryback came up with a team-best 11 kills for Wheeling (0-1), while Kyle Bagarella had 18 assists and Matt Schiferl had 19 digs.
Hersey d. Schaumburg: Bart Migus came up with a team-high 8 kills to help the Huskies improve to 5-1 with an MSL crossover victory against the Saxons 25-17, 25-11.
Peter Wesolowski had 16 assists for Hersey, while Kevin Messer had 12 digs.
Barrington d. Rolling Meadows: The Broncos picked up a 25-21, 25-11 decision in an MSL crossover.
Noah Ricchetti had a team-best 18 assists and 8 digs for Barrington, while Josh Babicz (5 kills) and Joe Roeckell (4) led the attack.
Top performers for the Mustangs included Tommy Murphy (6 kills), Enrique Avellaneda (11 assists) and Jose Cruz (12 digs).
Buffalo Grove d. Hoffman Estates: The Bison claimed an MSL crossover win 25-14, 25-13.
Top contributors for the Bison were Zach Schnittker (17 assists), Brendan Ward (5 kills) and Tulio Ruscitti (11 digs).
Prospect d. Fremd: Senior Eryk Krzyzak had 4 kills and a team-best 3 block-kills to help the Knights in a 25-13, 25-14 victory over the Vikings.
Kyle Gerber led Prospect (1-5) with 19 assists, and Alex Blethen delivered a team-high 10 kills.
Top performers for Fremd (0-1) included Jacob Cuthbert (4 kills) and Tyler Larson (4 assists).