Boys Volleyball: Lincoln-Way East comes up short
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media April 21, 2012 9:14PM
Nate Royer, of Lincoln-Way East, spikes the ball against Glenbrook North for the Title game at the Brother Rice Smack Attack Tournament, Saturday, April 21st, 2012 in Chicago, IL. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 24, 2012 8:22AM
Despite his team’s struggles through the opening game of Saturday’s Brother Rice Smack Attack championship match, Lincoln-Way East coach Kris Fiore saw his team regroup and come within two points of at least forcing a decisive third game.
But having got to the championship courtesy of a balanced attack, the Griffins went one-dimensional and surrendered a late lead, falling 25-22, 27-25 to Glenbrook North.
“We didn’t run our offense the way we had all tournament,” Fiore said. “We started relying on one or two people, and we’ve got to spread the ball around. That’s what it came down to in the end.”
Glenbrook North had finished in second place the previous two years at the Smack Attack. Luke Jacobson (13 kills) and Kyle Bedford (30 assists) led North (19-2) in the win.
Nate Royer (10 kills, 11 digs) paced Lincoln-Way East (18-3) to go with efforts from Austin Royer (21 assists) and four kills apiece from Kevin McClafferty and Jason Garnett.
Having surrendered a lead late in the opener, the Griffins went up 14-10 in the second.
But looking to go to a third game, East could never quite pull away from Glenbrook North. Jacobson had a string of four consecutive kills to help North go up 24-23 and then tie things at 25. After an East service error, Cody Bolan’s service ace was mishandled by the Griffins defensively, giving North the win.
“Our bench helped a ton coming in with a lot of energy,” Jacobson said. “Tied 25-25 was a tough situation, but our energy was a key.”
Fiore came away impressed with his team’s performance despite coming up short in the championship.
“As a whole tournament, we played very well,” Fiore said. “We need to work on a few things offensively, but our defense and serve receive were good. Offensively we can work on a few things and become a lot more potent.”
Lincoln-Way North fell to Buchahan (Calif.) in the fifth-place match. Sandburg downed Brother Rice in the seventh-place match.