Boys Volleyball: Lincoln-Way East tops Neuqua Valley
By Phil Brozynski For Sun-Times Media April 25, 2012 10:56PM
Updated: May 28, 2012 9:01AM
It helps a team when its best hitter is on the same page with its setter.
It’s even better when those two players are related.
Lincoln-Way East outside hitter Nate Royer had 14 kills and his younger brother Austin had 32 assists to lead the Griffins to a 25-14, 19-25, 25-12 victory Wednesday over host Neuqua Valley.
Nate Royer had six kills in Game 3, including three early that helped the visitors re-establish their dominance.
“We like to set everyone, get the middles involved, too, keep it going around,” Nate Royer said. “He (Austin) knows where to get it, and that’s good. We have a family bond, I guess. It gets us on the same page a lot of times.”
The Royers — Nate, a senior, and Austin, a sophomore — had to read from the same book in Game 3 after Neuqua Valley (15-4) bounced back from a Game 1 whipping to handily win Game 2 behind Jake Gerald (8 kills, 2 blocks) and Joseph Michael (5 kills, 3 blocks).
The hosts built a 10-4 lead in Game 2 and extended to a 19-12 advantage before East (20-3) mounted a three-point run. But the fifth service error of the game by the Griffins and back-to-back blocks by Gerald and Michael forced a Game 3.
“The two most important parts of our team are serve-receive and serving,” East coach Kris Fiore said. “The both completely fell apart in the second game. Every time we’d inch close to getting a run, we’d serve 10 feet out of bounds.”
The Neuqua Valley celebration was short-lived. Three kills by Nate Royer allowed the visitors to break out to a 9-4 Game 3 lead, and after he contributed three more kills to extend the advantage to 14-9, he provided four consecutive service points to put the game out of reach.
“Before the third game we talked about the match-up Nate had,” Fiore said. “We had him matched up on their setter for two out of three rotations. So we kept telling Austin to throw it up nice and high and for Nate hit high because he had the advantage.”
Kevin McClafferty added eight kills and two blocks, Erik Stanek had four kills and Jake Tomaras had 15 digs for East.