Boys Volleyball: Lincoln-Way East overruns Lincoln-Way West
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 16, 2012 11:06PM
Lincoln-Way West's Tony Prospero hits into the Lincoln-Way East block put up by Steve Kolodziej (12) and Jake Emmerick. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 29, 2012 9:33AM
Never has a conference title been so disappointing.
Lincoln-Way East was forced to share the SouthWest Suburban Red title last season after a loss to Lincoln-Way Central in both teams’ regular-season finale.
Wrapping up the 2012 regular season Wednesday, the Griffins made sure they were the outright champions. Needing a win to ensure the title, host East dominated Lincoln-Way West 25-15, 25-14.
“I don’t know if it lingered with the players, but it lingered with me (sharing),” East coach Kris Fiore said. “We made it a focus. We wanted it by ourselves and didn’t want to share it with anybody.”
Austin Royer had 14 assists, three service aces and three digs for East (32-3, 11-0). Jason Garnett (2 aces) and Kevin McClafferty had four kills apiece for the Griffins. Kenny Clawson (4 kills) and Dominic Prospero (10 assists) led West (24-9, 7-4).
The tale of the conference clincher came from the service line as eight Griffins aces set the tone. Having handily won Game 1, East turned to Royer to start Game 2. The sophomore setter immediately set the tone.
“That’s been our best rotation, and we all play well in it,” Royer said. “It starts off the game best.”
Royer had two aces as part of a 6-0 game-opening run, from which West never was able to recover. With the serves raining down, East pulled away, Garnett and Steve Kolodziej (3 kills) contributing aces of their own.
On match point, Garnett’s serve landed cleanly for the game winner.
“Some teams break down when things go badly,” Royer said. “That’s the good thing about our team. We try and keep it going.”
West was playing without three starters because of a variety of injuries and sickness.
“A big concern heading into regionals is just get healthy,” West coach Rory Harrison said. “The underclassmen we pulled up did a nice job. Volleyball is all about decision-making.”