Boys Volleyball: Smack Attack title goes to Lincoln-Way East
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media April 20, 2013 8:10PM
Sandburg's John Hodul, right, hits into the defense of Lincoln-Way East's Aaron Redweik in the Smack Attack championship match. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 22, 2013 6:57AM
Lincoln-Way East is a well-oiled machine.
The Griffins boast stellar defense behind libero Josh Phalen, one of the slickest facilitators in the state in setter Austin Royer and a surplus of dangerous attackers.
Saturday in the finals of the Brother Rice Smack Attack, outside hitters Nate Van Dellan and Ryan Vorderer took the reins, combining to hammer 18 kills as the Griffins downed Sandburg 25-16, 27-25 at St. Xavier University for their first-ever Smack Attack crown.
“We were focused,” Van Dellan said, noting East’s second-place finish to Glenbrook North last year. “This was the best we’ve played all year.”
Van Dellan was East’s lone all-tournament selection. He had 10 kills and 11 digs against Sandburg. Vorderer added eight kills, Royer dished 23 assists and Phalen had nine digs for the Grifins (20-1).
“We really picked up our blocking and defense,” Vorderer said. “Some of those long rallies we wouldn’t win before and we won them (Saturday).”
The Griffins took a commanding 12-3 second-set lead after an ace by Tommy Piet, but Sandburg battled back to tie the game at 24 after an offensive eruption from Paul Chmura and Neil Naughton.
Chmura went off a blocker to tie the game at 25, but Vorderer answered with a kill and Royer sealed the win with his fourth block of the match.
“Our kids are really tough from 20 points and on,” East coach Kris Fiore said. “And that resembles a group of winners.”
Leading Sandburg (14-5) was Chmura (13 kills), Ian Zalewski (26 assists) and Kyle Burke (12 digs). Naughton added eight kills for the Eagles, who were without Ball State recruit Michael Scannell (leg injury).
“I enjoyed our intensity in the quarters and the semis,” Sandburg coach Sean Airola said. “I did not like watching the last match at all. We shot ourselves in the foot as far as I’m concerned.”
Chmura posted 16 kills and zero errors in Sandburg’s semifinal victory over top-seeded Glenbrook North. East downed Brother Rice to reach the finals.
Glenbrook North topped Rice 25-16, 27-25 for third place.