Boys volleyball: Glenbrook South serves a defeat to St. Viator
The hand Glenbrook South's boys volleyball team dealt St. Viator was flush with aces.
In both teams' second match of the season March 23, the Titans delivered 10 service aces, 7 by senior Chance Shampine, in a 2-set victory at the Lions' Fr. Pat Cahill Gymnasium in Arlington Heights, 25-21, 25-15.
"Volleyball's a big momentum game, so at the beginning of the second set you saw that first ace goes down, that second ace goes down, completely destroys the momentum," said St. Viator senior setter Pat Schraeder.
Those serves came from Shampine, who also authored a couple scoring runs in the first set and was joined by junior Peter Shellenbarger with another in the second.
Shellenbarger's deliveries were more the tricky knuckleball floater type while Shampine's serves hit the Lions hard and with top spin that drove the volleyball down. Other than a strategically angled ace into empty space that gave Glenbrook South a 7-1 lead in the second set, Shampine generally was more interested in his form than the alignment St. Viator presented, he said.
"I usually try not to look at the other side and just focus on myself and my routine, and just having a nice toss and making sure I'm consistent," he said. "Focusing on myself and how I'm going to contact the ball, and not really what's going on, on the other side."
Libero Chris Lee ended the nonconference match with a serve-receive the Lions sent out of bounds for Glenbrook South's 10th ace. Setter James Ganzorig added an ace while he compiled 24 assists.
Titans coach Annie Kotsadam, pleased to get each player into the match, raved about her team's accurate hitting. Junior middle blockers Jaki Erdene (5 kills) and Zach White (3 kills) scored every time they blasted the ball, outside hitter Kris Blumberg came off the bench for a team-high 6 kills, and fellow outsides Shampine went 4-of-5 and David Rowlands 3-of-4.
"I hit 100 percent tonight. It feels good when that happens," said the 6-foot-2 Erdene. "That means my setter and I had a real great connection tonight and I'm real proud of that and the progress we've had so far in the season already."
Shampine's service paced first-set leads of 4-1 and 17-9 before St. Viator, led by returning all-East Suburban Catholic Conference returners Schraeder (12 assists), Joe Dillon (5 kills) and Jimmy Doherty (3 kills), pulled within 24-21.
"We know we've got to pass better, we know we've got to execute defensively a little bit better, but I thought offensively when we got the ball to our setter we were right there with them," said Lions coach Brennan Harrington, a 2013 St. Viator graduate and a former setter himself.
After Dillon delivered his own ace serve, on game point Erdene mashed a Ganzorig pass right down the middle for the 25-21 set winner.
Starting Game 2, St. Viator's Jakub Mikrut forced a 1-1 tie on a successful block of a Glenbrook South spike attempt. Thereafter the Titans controlled much of the play.
Shampine again baffled the Lions, serving 4 aces in an early run that gave Glenbrook South an 8-1 head start. St. Viator got within 5 points only once the rest of the way, 13-8 on a Mikrut kill.
Junior Matthew Enkhsaikhan followed with one of his 2 kills and the Titans were back in action.
"I would say this game, it was a team effort," Kotsadam said. "I got every single one of my players in, they've been working hard the entire preseason, all of them giving their 100 percent. So I think for us, the story was that we had every player contribute."
St. Viator (1-1) had one more match Saturday before its spring break, while Glenbrook South will bring a 2-0 record into its next match, hosting Maine West on April 3.
"Our whole team trusts in one another," Erdene said, "and since we're very similar in age and very close to one another that level of trust and that foundation of our team is already there, so we're just able to work as one unit."