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Boys Volleyball: Stagg tops St. Rita

Updated: April 29, 2014 6:30AM



Trevor Crain missed most of last season while nursing a broken foot. Fortunately for Stagg, its No. 1 outside hitter is back and ready to break something else: the backs of opponents.

Crain finished with six kills — including a few of the highlight variety — as Stagg put away host St. Rita 25-21, 25-15 on Thursday night.

“My first games back were in summer league for the school, and it didn’t seem like I missed a beat,” Crain said.

At 5-foot-8, Crain isn’t the most intimidating presence at the net. Watch a few plays, though, and his 34-inch vertical and smooth swing catch the eye.

“Jumping is my main focus, workout-wise,” Crain said. “Hitting comes natural.”

Joining Crain on the outside was Kamil Krzysiak, who led Stagg (2-0) with seven kills. Sean Runyon had 11 digs, Nick Stanek dished 24 assists and middle hitter Tom Matonis had six kills and three blocks, including a pair of back-to-back blocks in the second set that gave Stagg a 19-14 lead.

Tim Dunleavy posted eight kills and Nick Spallina had four for St. Rita (0-2). John Regan had eight digs and Jake Marquardt had 16 assists.

St. Rita took a 7-1 Set 1 lead, but Stagg drew even at 8. The first set featured six ties, the last being broken by a kill from Chris Kladis, giving Stagg a 15-14 lead.

“Our problem right now is starting off slow,” Stagg coach Lauren Royer said. “That isn’t going to fly against some of the really tough teams — especially this weekend. We need to get ourselves going in the beginning of the game, not just the end.”

Both Stagg and St. Rita are scheduled to compete Friday and Saturday in the Marist Invitational. Some of the state’s top teams will be in the field, including Lincoln-Way North and Lincoln-Way East.

St. Rita was in striking distance midway through the second set, but there were too many attack errors for coach Ryan Biros’ relatively unseasoned team.

“It was nice to see them get excited (with the early lead),” Biros said, “but once the problems started kicking in, it was one after another. A lot of the guys don’t have much varsity experience, so their nerves are getting to them a little bit.”



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