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Boys Volleyball: Sandburg outlasts Lincoln-Way Central

Updated: June 3, 2014 6:34AM



Two of the biggest guys on the court played huge Thursday night for Sandburg at Lincoln-Way Central.

Neil Naughton, a 6-foot-7 middle hitter, had seven kills while 6-5 Kyle Van Stedum chipped in five as Sandburg staved off Lincoln-Way Central 25-18, 26-24 in a SouthWest Suburban tussle.

It appeared the match was headed for Set 3 after a kill by Adam Sargis put Central up 21-16. Naughton, though, recorded two of his three blocks in a three-point span and added a kill to tie it at 24.

Two points later, Jimmy Drynan closed the match with a serve that never found its way back to Sandburg.

“What was it, a 10-4 run to come back?” Naughton said. “We started sliding a little there but we ended up getting a couple of big points because of our blocking.”

Van Stedum added three blocks and Ian Zalewski had 20 assists for Sandburg (15-7, 3-2).

Naughton also played the closer in Set 1. He posted three kills among the last five points, successfully winning the battle at the net alternating with Van Stedum.

Playing on opposite sides of the rotation, Naughton and Van Stedum don’t see court time together. Instead, the pair said they hone their skills against one another in practice.

“I love playing against Neil,” Van Stedum, a junior, said. “He’s going to play in college at (Milwaukee School of Engineering), so I know he’s a really good player. It’s more motivation.”

Sargis led Central (17-7, 3-2) with eight kills. Mike Kulinkski doled out 18 assists and Scott Mueller had four kills in a starting role. Central coach Brian Danielson said he moved Mueller into the starting lineup after a strong week of practice.

“We’re lacking leadership right now,” Danielson said. “Some of our guys are really intense and others are almost nonchalant.”

The first set saw four ties, but Central never could grab the lead. Set 2 featured 13 ties and five lead changes.

“That’s the first time in a long time that we haven’t had three games,” Sandburg coach Sean Airola said. “It was good to get our middles involved. (Central’s) got a good, young squad. Come playoff time, they’re going to be a tough team.”



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