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Boys Volleyball: Lincoln-Way West moved into Gold Division at Lincoln-Way East Invitational

Updated: May 3, 2014 5:21PM



The unblemished record of Lincoln-Way West lives to see another day.

But it didn’t come easily.

West needed to rally from first-set defeats in both of its matches Friday at the 24-team Lincoln-Way East Invitational in Frankfort in order to advance to the championship bracket.

“We knew we’d be tested,” West coach Rory Olson said. “Every team here is solid.”

West (19-0) topped Warren 18-25, 25-22, 15-8, then defeated St. Patrick 23-25, 25-21, 15-9.

“Not the best volleyball we’ve played, but we made it to the Gold Division, so we’ll take it,” said Jake Gasparich, who was stellar in West’s third-set win over St. Patrick with four kills, a block and an ace.

Against Warren, Gasparich delivered eight kills and Michael Wexter had nine kills, two aces and 17 assists. Jon Adlington and Tony Prospero chipped in six kills apiece.

Gasparich, who ranks No. 1 in his junior class, will not compete with West on Saturday. Instead, the middle hitter is headed for a mathletes event that he committed to a few months ago.

“It’s brutal,” he said. “I love mathletes, but (playing volleyball) is where I want to be.”

Bryant Holland paced Warren (12-8) with a match-high 10 kills against West. Jeremy White contributed seven kills and Bobby Rone had six. Warren bounced back to defeat St. Patrick (9-13) to close pool play.

Pool winners and notes

Joining West in the Gold Division are Lincoln-Way East, Sandburg, Lyons, Downers Grove South, Lake Park, Lincoln-Way North and New Trier.

New Trier — with Lincoln-Way Central and Minooka — navigated arguably the toughest pool, downing the Knights and Indians in two sets.

Minooka topped Lincoln-Way Central 25-22, 25-20 to move to the Silver Division behind Lewis recruit Mitch Perinar.

“Mitch can definitely put the ball away, but he’s also a really smart hitter,” Minooka coach Janel Grzetich said. “He’s able to find holes that are tough to spot.”

Perinar wasn’t the only Lewis recruit starring on Day 1 of the tournament. Lincoln-Way North’s Jake Walenga, the SouthtownStar 2013 Player of the Year, went off in victories over Payton and West Aurora.

“Jake was pulling shots out that were just sick,” North coach Matt Lawrence said. “He had a few kills from 15 to 20 feet out.”



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