Boys Volleyball: Brother Rice falls to Glenbrook North in quarterfinals
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media June 1, 2012 5:24PM
Joe Pachinskas, of Brother Rice, has a kill against Glenbrook North at the boys state volleyball quarterfinals Friday in Hoffman Estates. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Boys State Volleyball
(All matches at Hoffman Estates High School)
Glenbrook North def. Brother Rice 25-22, 25-23
Minooka def. St. Rita, 25-23,
Wheaton Warrenville South def. Payton 25-15, 25-11
Barrington def. Lake Park 23-25, 25-17, 28-26
Glenbrook North vs. Minooka,
Wheaton Warrenville South vs.
Barrington, 11 a.m.
Third place: 4 p.m.;
Championship: 5:15 p.m.
Updated: July 6, 2012 10:56AM
After a two-game win over Oak Park-River Forest in late April, Brother Rice coach Br. Paul Ickes wasn’t sure what his team would be capable of down the stretch.
Ickes’ squad was struggling, with a .500 record and the playoffs less than a month away.
The Crusaders regrouped in a huge way, rattling off wins in 16 of their next 17 matches. But Friday at the state quarterfinals in Hoffman Estates, the run came to an end as Brother Rice fell 25-22, 25-23 to Glenbrook North.
“At 11-11, I didn’t know if we’d make it out of the regional, much less the sectional,” Ickes said. “They’ve strung together one of the most amazing runs I’ve seen in my 20 years coaching Brother Rice volleyball and they will always be a special team.”
Joe Pochinskas had 10 kills and Dan Dwyer dished out 26 assists for Brother Rice (27-13). Mitch Weiler (7 kills), Matt Kill (4 kills) and Cody Leahy (8 digs) contributed.
The quarterfinal was a rematch between the two schools, host Brother Rice taking down Glenbrook North in two games in early May. The tables were turned not quite a month later as Glenbrook North (37-3) managed a win in a back-and-forth Game 1 that had 11 ties and four lead changes. Neither team led by more than four points, that edge coming for the Spartans at 24-20 on a Crusaders hit gone long.
“Just when I thought we’d be able to break it open, something happened whether it was a mistake on our side or a great play on theirs,” Ickes said. “They did a great job not allowing us to break through and play our game.”
Glenbrook North won on a Rice serve in the net. Rice had 10 errors in the opener and six in the second game.
“If we just had a few of those errors back, maybe it’s a little different,” Ickes said.
With the offense starting to click, Pochinskas, Kill and Ryan Paull helped Rice jump to a 14-11 lead in Game 2. North’s balance came into play as Brian O’Keefe had four kills as part of a 9-3 run that also included kills from Pat Bedford and Luke Jacobsen.
“They just went on a run and played really well,” Dwyer said. “Glenbrook played much better than the first time we played them, and we made too many uncharacteristic errors.”
Staring at match point down 24-21, Pochinskas had back-to-back kills for Rice to cut the deficit to 24-23, but the senior outside hit wide to end the match.
It was Rice’s sixth appearance at state. While the Crusaders were unable to match the program’s best finish, a third place in 2004, the journey to the quarters was pleasant for some.
“It was a fantastic way to finish out a great career,” Kill said. “Coming into freshman year, I never thought I’d be playing volleyball much less finishing it out like this. I never imagined being here at state at this point.”
Pat Bedford and Jacobsen had seven kills each and Kyle Bedford had 24 assists for Glenbrook North.