Boys Volleyball Sectional: Brother Rice tops Lincoln-Way East
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 29, 2012 11:36PM
Brother Rice celebrates its win over Lincoln-Way East. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Boys State Volleyball
(All matches at Hoffman Estates
Brother Rice vs. Glenbrook North, 1 p.m.
Minooka vs. St. Rita, 2 p.m.
Payton vs. Wheaton Warrenville South,
Barrington vs. Lake Park, 6 p.m.
Semifinals: 10 and 11 a.m. Saturday
Third place: 4 p.m. Saturday
Championship: 5:15 p.m. Saturday
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:32PM
All Brother Rice’s Ryann Paull needed was a little motivation
Playing in a limited role at the outset of the season, Paull put the practice time in and regained a starting position.
A key factor in Brother Rice’s midseason resurgence, the 6-foot-7 junior continued his hot play Tuesday night as Brother Rice upset host Lincoln-Way East 25-18, 21-25, 25-17 in the sectional final to advance to the state quarterfinals.
“I think he realized the hard work that it takes, and it’s more than just talent and height,” Crusaders coach Br. Paul Ickes said. “When a senior that’s shorter than him was playing, I think that lit a fire under him.”
Brother Rice (28-12) will play Glenbrook North at 1 p.m. Friday in a state quarterfinals at Hoffman Estates High School.
Lincoln-Way East closed at 35-4.
In helping clinch the program’s first state berth since 2008, Paull had nine kills and five blocks for Brother Rice. Mike Carroll (10 digs), Mitch Weiler (16 kills) and Dan Dwyer (33 assists) also chipped in in a big way.
“It took me a while to get into the flow (this season),” Paull said. “I played a lot in club because I was tall, and I realized I had to pick it up.”
Austin Royer had 30 assists for Lincoln-Way East.Nate Royer added 12 digs and 11 kills while Kevin McClafferty had eight kills and three digs.
Undone by midgame struggles in Game 2, Brother Rice picked it up in the third thanks to its two star underclassmen, Paull and Weiler.
Weiler had seven kills, with Paull adding three kills and all five of his blocks as the Crusaders blew open a 12-11 game. Dominating the net, Rice closed on a 13-6 run.
“That second set we kind of sat back,” Weiler said. “We knew what we had to do in that third set and came out knowing what we had to.”
Lincoln-Way East, the No. 2 seed in the sectional, was seeking its first state trip since 2007 but struggled to string points together Tuesday.
“It was just execution the whole game,” East coach Kris Fiore said. “Rice dug us, blocked us and basically outplayed us in every aspect. Every time we’d get a little momentum, we’d make a silly error.”