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Boys Volleyball: Andrew on target vs. Lockport

It’s no surprise that Nick VanderZanden was champing at the bit to compete against Lockport.

The previous time Andrew faced the Porters, the 6-foot-9 VanderZanden set a school record with 10 blocks.

“I couldn’t wait to face them,” he said. “I knew I’d go hard playing at Lockport, but playing at home, I wanted to go even harder to protect our court. One of the goals we set for each other was to win all of our home games.”

So far, so good.

VanderZanden totaled four kills and three blocks as Andrew ripped off its seventh straight victory with a 25-20, 25-18 SouthWest Suburban decision.

“We clicked,” Andrew’s Sanil Thomas said. “We came out ready to go and rode our momentum. We had a little shaky stuff in the middle of both sets, but we were able to finish them off with a good team effort.”

Thomas was a beast with eight kills, 11 assists and two blocks for Andrew (10-6, 4-0). It took a three-point span in Set 2 for him to reveal his full versatility.

He first set VanderZanden for a putaway, followed with a back-row kill on a set from Neal Hausmann and finished with a booming jump-serve for an 8-3 lead.

“(Thomas) was going up and hitting over the top of our block,” Lockport coach Nick Mraz said. “He’s a heck of a player.”

Hausmann and Steve Fitzpatrick added five kills apiece, while Adam Russell posted two key blocks in Set 1 for the Thunderbolts.

Lockport (11-7, 1-2) received five kills each from Adam Krzos and Gabe Perez. Krzos, the team leader in kills and attack percentage, posted back-to-back kills in the second set, but it wasn’t enough to rally after a slow start.

“We had a terrible practice (Tuesday). We weren’t working that hard,” Mraz said. “I kind of had an expectation that we’d come out flat.”

After trailing 18-9 in the second set, Lockport closed the gap to 22-18. But Thomas was having none of it. He lit up the crowd with a resounding kill on an overpass and put the match away with a stuff block.

“It’s pretty fun closing a set like that,” Thomas said.



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