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Boys Volleyball: Lincoln-Way North slips past Sandburg

Lincoln-Way North's Brad McFarlfinesses ball past Sandburg's Michael Scannell. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

Lincoln-Way North's Brad McFarland finesses the ball past Sandburg's Michael Scannell. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 27, 2013 6:56AM



First sets don’t get more furious — especially ones with a sectional final berth on the line.

Lincoln-Way North staved off six set points from Sandburg as it stormed back from a 19-11 deficit. North took its first lead since holding a 2-1 advantage when a kill by Kenny Christensen put the Phoenix up 27-26.

Sandburg answered with back-to-back kills by Michael Scannell and John Hodul for its sixth set point, but Brad McFarland scored consecutively and Jake Walenga put the set away with a kill three points later as North secured a thrilling 31-29, 25-19 victory at Andrew.

North will meet Lincoln-Way East at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the Andrew Sectional crown.

“There was a feeling that we would win. We kept getting point after point,” Christensen said. “Then their crowd was down and diminishing and their players looked sad. That’s when I thought we had it.”

Walenga led North (35-3) with nine kills, McFarland chalked up six and Christensen added four. Zac Blasgen contributed 14 digs and Adam Gilchrist notched two blocks.

“To be down eight against a great team like Sandburg, I’m just really proud of our guys,” North coach Matt Lawrence said. “The guys kept their composure and came back one point at a time.”

“I thought we were going to win from the beginning,” Gilchrist said. “We’ve come back from things like that. You play your heart out. Determination wins games.”

Sandburg (30-8) received 10 kills from Scannell, eight kills from Hodul and six from Kyle Van Stedum. Kyle Burke notched 11 digs and Ian Zalewski dished 22 assists.

Back-to-back kills by Hodul in the second set gave Sandburg 16-14 lead, but the Eagles never managed to distance themselves.

A block by Walenga broke an 18-all tie and sparked a 6-0 run behind a block from Christensen and a kill from Austin Faller. Three points later, Faller ended the match with a block.

“In Game 1 we came out hot, did a nice job of separating the lead and then gave it away,” Sandburg coach Sean Airola said. “And I thought they earned it. They’re not a team that you can do that to. They’re a terrific team and have studs on the outside.”



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