Boys Volleyball: Richards is double trouble for Stagg
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 22, 2012 10:28PM
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:30AM
In Jeremy Norton and Nick Costa, Richards has two hitters capable of carrying an offense on their own.
But as was the case at Tuesday’s Marian Catholic Regional, the hitters are doubly dangerous when both are clicking. Norton and Costa had 11 kills apiece in Richards’ 25-23, 25-16 semifinal win over Stagg.
“It pumps everyone up when we’re both playing well and our middles can start hitting,” Norton said. “When we’re both on, we always have someone front row hitting too, and we can pound the ball and get kills. It’s always good to have that.”
Dan Krasich dished out 20 assists for Richards (25-6), and Ramiro Ledesma (4 digs) and Jack Kendryna (4 kills, 2 blocks) contributed.
The Bulldogs will play the sectional’s top seed, Lincoln-Way North, at 7 p.m. Wednesday for the regional title.
“It’s huge when they’re both on,” Richards coach Troy Grevengoed said. “They’re starting to peak together, and that’s what we need.”
Kamil Barnas (9 kills), Mike Scatena (7 kills) and Matt Hartigan (11 assists) led Stagg (14-22).
Some early jitters for Richards (3 hitting errors, 2 service errors) allowed Stagg to jump to a 9-4 lead in Game 1. Costa’s seven kills helped turn the tide. Norton closed the opener with back-to-back kills.
“We struggled with (consistency) because we’d have moments,” Stagg coach Lauren Royer said. “We believe in themselves, in each other in those moments, but tonight we couldn’t bring it together as a team.”
Richards dominated in Game 2, racing to a 17-8 lead. After a 4-0 run for Stagg, Norton again closed strong, slamming two kills, finishing a huge block and providing the game-winner with a service ace.
“After a run like that, if we can get them out of it, I feel like they don’t have another one in them,” Norton said. “We keep going and push. I play my hardest in those spots.”
Lincoln-Way North 25-25, Marian Catholic 12-18: Ryan McFarland (13 assists), Zach Blasgen (12 digs) and Haakon Skrodal (5 kills) paced Lincoln-Way North (32-4) in the semifinal win. Will Craft had seven kills and Matt Novosel had 15 assists for host Marian Catholic (11-15).