Boys Volleyball: Oak Forest turns back Andrew in three sets
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media March 25, 2014 8:34PM
Jeff Sprayberry, of Oak Forest, goes up for the kill against Andrew at Oak Forest, Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 in Oak Forest | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 27, 2014 6:29AM
The scouting report on Oak Forest, according to Bengals coach Lee Rucinski, is to stop outside hitter Jeff Sprayberry.
Tuesday night, Andrew discovered that’s easier said than done, especially with Oak Forest capable of spreading its attack to a few capable hitters at the net.
Sprayberry blasted 15 kills and seven aces and Dylan Ross added 14 kills as Oak Forest prevailed 25-23, 23-25, 28-26 over visiting Andrew.
“Last year, in certain matches, it was kind of the Sprayberry show,” Rucinski said. “Now he’s brought a supporting cast to help him.”
The Bengals (2-0) looked poised to cruise in the third set after Sprayberry dealt three aces for a 7-1 lead. Andrew (0-1) was able to rally behind a strong showing from returning All-Area setter Sanil Thomas.
In a hybrid role that had him setting and firing away from the outside, Thomas finished with 13 assists and 12 kills. He had three kills in a six-point span to bring Andrew to within one, and he later put down a kill to give Andrew an 18-16 lead.
“He’s one of those players who can play any role you put him in,” Andrew coach Courtney Stoub said. “We needed him to swing on the outside for us (Tuesday).”
Neil Hausmann added nine kills for Andrew. His third-set block gave the Thunderbolts a 23-18 advantage, triggering an Oak Forest timeout.
“We have a slogan: ‘Together and toughness,’ ” Sprayberry said. “We knew we had to stay together and not get down.”
Out of the timeout, Oak Forest went on a 7-1 surge. Kills by Ross twice broke ties, the second of which gave the Bengals a 26-25 lead. Three points later, Sprayberry put the match away with kill No. 15.
“Sprayberry is obviously our best player, and everyone else steps up when they need to step up,” Ross said. “That’s why we’re going to be a pretty good team this year.”
Brett Staehlin had 37 assists for Oak Forest. Andrew’s Sean Yerkes contributed 14 assists in his time share with Thomas.