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Boys Volleyball: Lincoln-Way East defeats Lincoln-Way North for Marist Invitational title

Lincoln-Way East players hold up Championship plaque after defeating Lincoln-Way North 3 sets for 2014 Marist Boy Volleyball Invitational Championship

Lincoln-Way East players hold up the Championship plaque after defeating Lincoln-Way North in 3 sets for the 2014 Marist Boy Volleyball Invitational Championship, Saturday, March 29th, 2014 in Chicago | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 1, 2014 7:23AM



Lincoln-Way East drew first blood in its rivalry with Lincoln-Way North.

Playing for the 24-team Marist Invitational championship Saturday, Austin Royer totaled 29 assists and three kills as East won its second straight title, downing North 24-26, 25-16, 25-21 in a high-caliber match that looked more like the postseason than opening week.

“I’m pumped right now — I’m still shaking from it,” Royer said. “We’ve played them how many times? We know what they do and just needed to come ready and energetic.”

Royer and Co. defeated North in the invite’s semifinals last year. North countered by beating East in the sectional finals to advance to state. In their combined 72-8 record last season, three of those losses came against one another.

“It’s pretty special when you can get a match like that in the first week of the season,” East coach Kris Fiore said.

Ryan Vorderer had 11 kills and Brett Fuessel added seven for the Griffins (6-0). Josh Phalen patrolled the back row with 22 digs.

“We were able to get everyone involved,” Royer said. “Brett Fuessel had some big kills for us when we needed a sideout.”

Jake Walenga, the SouthtownStar 2013 Player of the Year, led North (4-1) with 17 kills. His All-Area running mate on the outside, Brad McFarland, showed off a stellar jump-serve and finished with 14 kills and 15 digs.

“This is what makes high school more fun, because we play club with all those guys,” Walenga said. “I’m not that fazed with the loss because they’re the No. 1 team in the state for a reason. We know what we’ve got to fix ... we’ll get ’em next time, I hope.”

A powerful kill by McFarland gave North a 17-16 advantage in the third set, but Vorderer sandwiched two kills around a North attack error for a 19-17 lead. Vorderer later ended an extended rally with a kill to put East up 21-19.

“Vorderer rattled off a lot of points,” North coach Matt Lawrence said. “I’m pretty sure I burned half my timeouts when he was serving.”

Austin Faller had 35 assists and Jimmy Dusek 17 digs for North.

In other championship-bracket action, Lincoln-Way Central (6-1) topped Providence (3-3) in two sets for third place. Richards (4-2) defeated Andrew (3-3) in three sets behind six aces from Edvinas Karalius for fifth. Elk Grove took out Marist for seventh.

Benet beat Lockport for the Silver Division title.



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