Boys Volleyball: Minooka too tall for Oswego East
By Tyler Haar For Sun-Times Media April 19, 2012 11:12PM
Oswego East's Sam Izzo puts one over the net Thursday against Minooka. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 19, 2012 11:12PM
Minooka’s boys volleyball team stood tall as the Indians defeated host Oswego East 25-8, 25-16 in a Southwest Prairie Conference match on Thursday.
The Indians, led by 6-9 Justin Toth, 6-6 middle Maalik Walker and 6-4 outside hitter Richard Bishop, towered over the Wolves as they cruised to a two-game victory.
“It’s hard. You’re looking at college teams that are that tall,” Oswego East coach Jim Mueller said. “I was telling my guys to tool the block because I knew they could block us straight on.
“We were worried about Walker. He’s pretty good. He’s just so tall, he’s way over us. If he gets a good set, there’s nothing you can do.”
Walker led the Indians with six blocks and added four kills and an ace. Bishop was the Indians’ kill leader with eight, while outside hitter Nicholas Vertin added six kills. Toth had two blocks and one kill.
Setter Philip Hannon led Minooka (15-2, 6-0) with 19 assists and five digs. Indians coach Janel Grzetich credited the junior for consistently setting up big shots for his teammates.
“Our setter was making some very smart decisions in terms of where we were in the rotations, where the defense was moving and when to set them,” Grzetich said. “Once he made passes, his teammates could see the open areas and they were hitting. They did a very good job of that.”
Minooka set the tone early, shooting out to a quick 9-0 lead in the first game. Bishop had five kills and outside hitter Ryan Bauer had three aces as the Indians cruised to a 25-8 win.
The Wolves’ play was much improved to start the second game. Setter Sam Izzo’s ace gave Oswego East (3-12-1, 0-6) an early 5-1 lead. However seven points later, a block by Walker gave the Indians their first lead of the game, 7-6, and Minooka never looked back, winning the second game 25-16.
“We were out of sorts in the first game, and we’re a lot better than that. I give them a lot of credit, they hustled every ball, they hit everything down, they just outplayed us that first game,” Mueller said. “The second game, I was happy with our effort. I told the guys, ‘play loose, have fun and just do your job,’ and we did that.”