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Boys Volleyball: Sandburg topples Downers Grove South

Sandburg's John Hodul hits through Downers Grove South defense Will Tischler (12) Jeremy Hrom(11). | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

Sandburg's John Hodul hits through the Downers Grove South defense of Will Tischler (12) and Jeremy Hroma (11). | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 5, 2013 2:58PM



It wasn’t the sharpest performance of the year for Sandburg, but the Eagles still managed to propel coach Sean Airola to the century mark.

Sandburg outlasted visiting Downers Grove South 25-20, 26-24 on Wednesday night as Airola notched his 100th career coaching victory.

“My mom (former Providence coach Nan Airola) has a few, like 900 more wins than I do, so I have a ways to go to fill her shoes,” Airola said with a laugh. “It means that I’ve had great kids and great teams. They play, and I coach.

“It’s a great accomplishment for anyone to get a nice victory like that, but we have a ways to go.”

Six-foot-10 Lewis-bound John Hodul led Sandburg (9-2) with seven kills and three blocks. Sandburg won the first set despite eight service errors and trailed 11-8 in the second before Hodul exploded with three kills and two roof blocks to spark a 9-1 run.

“As the game went on I got more focused,” Hodul said. “I tried to bring a little more energy for the team. One big block or a series of blocks, like (Wednesday) can make the difference.”

Sandburg’s Nick Scannell, a Ball State recruit, electrified the crowd with a monster kill to give the Eagles a 25-24 advantage in the second set. Scannell and Neil Naughton then teamed up to notch the match-winning block.

Also chipping in for the Eagles were Ian Zalewski with 21 assists and Paul Chmura and Kyle Van Stedum with five kills apiece.

Downers Grove South (5-4) was led by Will Tischler (6 kills, 5 blocks), Mike Schmitt (4 kills) and David DeMarco (14 assists). The Mustangs were without starting middle hitter Nick Timreck.

“Sandburg’s a good team,” South coach Kurt Steuer said. “The difference was getting a hand on the ball blocking. It’s tough when they go 6-4, 6-10 up front, but give Sandburg credit because they played hard.”



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