Boys High School Volleyball: Stagg tops Lyons, take 3rd at Argo
By Randy Whalen
Some area boys volleyball teams have been playing since mid-March. Others got rolling just last week.
But many of them were competing last weekend at the Argo Invite in Summit.
Stagg left the tournament in good spirits after winning a thrilling match over Lyons to take third place.
The Chargers’ fourth opportunity at match point came through and they held off a pair of match points by the Lions in a 25-21, 26-28, 19-17 victory on March 30.
“Everyone came together,” Stagg senior outside hitter Mike Kazanecki said of the victory. “It took everyone to get the win.”
The final set, which was played to 15, was tied at every point from 10-10 through 17-17. The Chargers (5-3 entering play this week) had a trio of match points and finally get the winner when senior middle hitter Martynas Macenis had one of his four blocks in the match.
Junior setter Colin Hobart had 26 assists and Kazanecki finished with 15 kills.
“Mike Kazanecki is a heck of a player,” Stagg coach Tim Kaczmarek said. “It was a great weekend for us.”
Lyons (3-2) had match points at 15-14 and 16-15 but couldn’t close it out. Still, it was a good showing by the Lions, who hadn’t played this season before the tournament.
“I can’t ask for more, we put ourselves in position to win,” Lyons coach Brad Skendzel said. “Sure we wanted to come out on top but offensively we did really well. We have to have the same defensive mentality, too.
Lyons was 13-23 last year and is still a relatively young team.
“Just to be in these matches is a good team experience,” Skendzel added.
Senior outside hitter Ray Bonner made the All-Tournament team. Juniors Kevin Barker, at setter, and Zack Kristy, at libero, also played well.
In the second set, the Lions saved a match point at 26-25 and scored the final three points, with junior middle hitter Sam Peters getting the set-winning block.
In the quarterfinals, Stagg defeated Lockport 18-25, 25-22, 15-13, while Lyons beat Reavis 25-19, 25-22. Then in the semifinals, Plainfield North bounced back to defeat Stagg 25-15, 11-25, 15-13 and Providence rallied past Lyons 19-25, 25-23, 18-16.
In the title match, Plainfield North (6-0) remained undefeated with a 25-22, 25-20 win over Providence (9-4).
Astros best Rams
Shepard toppled Reavis 25-22, 23-25, 15-8 in the seventh-place match.
“Overall we’re just starting to come together,” Shepard coach Meghan Lyons said. “We have some strong players and are just trying to bring the team together.”
The Astros (4-9) were led by senior middle hitter Gabe Flores, senior setter Michael Strama, and junior libero Nahui Salgado.
Earlier in the day, Shepard suffered a 25-15, 25-16 setback to Plainfield North and then lost to Lockport 25-13, 25-17.
Reavis’ (5-9) loss to Shepard was their third on Saturday, the second day of the tourney. After falling to Lyons in the quarterfinals, the Rams lost 25-12, 25-17 to Hinsdale South.
Sophomore outside hitter Brendan Keane (12 kills on Saturday), senior Stanley Lapczynski (nine kills on Saturday), and junior setter Josh Garcia (eight aces on Saturday) led Reavis on the final day.
“We’re a young team,” Reavis coach Mike Jebens said. “We were 23-10-3 last year and lost all our starters. So we have guys gaining experience and learning the speed of the game.”
Argonauts take trio
In Silver Division round robin play March 29, the host Argonauts (4-7) won all three of their matches, and took ninth place overall. They defeated Oak Lawn 25-22, 25-20, De La Salle 30-28, 25-20, and St. Laurence 25-16, 25-13.
“This is the first year the tournament went two days here,” said Argo coach Ryan Skendzel, who added Lockport and Lyons this season. “We have a good, young team and it’s still a process for us. We’re learning our way but to go 3-0 on the final day gives us confidence.”
Seniors David Ramos at right side hitter and Guillermo Robles at middle hitter, along with junior outside hitter and All-Tournament selection, Cincere Colbert at outside hitter and sophomores Gavin Akot at middle hitter and setter David Mulica ar setter also did well for Argo.
Oak Lawn defeated St. Laurence 25-16, 18-25, 17-15 and De La Salle 26-24, 25-19 on Saturday to place 10th. De La Salle slipped past St. Laurence 19-25, 25-15, 15-7 to place 11th.
“We have a freshman [Caden Figus] and a sophomore [Szymon Wijas] at setter,” Oak Lawn coach Matt Hunt said. “We’re young.”
The Spartans graduated the program’s all-time kills leader, Donal Nugent, from last year’s team that finished 19-14.”
Sophomores Patryk Harkabuzik and Jake Welninski along with junior Sami Osmani and senior Jason Erdakos lead the Spartin (3-11) attack at a variety of hitting positions.
Senior outside hitter Diego Avila led De La Salle (6-6) in the tournament.
“This tournament will help us improve, grow and get a lot better,” Avila said.
Sophomore setter Matt Chavez along with senior middle hitter Nick Martorina also did well for the Meteors.
“We are looking toward improving for the end of the year,” De La Salle coach John Grubisich said. “Tournaments like this help us grow a lot and are huge for the experience.”
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