Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bump, Set, Spike, Championship!

from today's JSOnline.Com --

WIAA boys volleyball

Catholic Memorial spikes competition
Crusaders win first title since 2000

Nov. 13, 2010

Trevor Novotny's last kill of the boys state volleyball tournament wasn't his most spectacular, but it certainly was his most important spike of the season.

The Catholic Memorial junior outside hitter planted a ball just inside the left sideline for match point that gave the Crusaders a 25-20, 25-22, 25-15 win against Milwaukee Marquette in the state championship match at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

Novotny, the coaches' association player of the year, led Catholic Memorial to its first state title since 2000 with 18 kills and a .367 hitting percentage.

"Novotny's a special kid," Marquette coach Eric Sullivan said. "He came out and did what he's done all year. He's not just a good hitter, he does a great job out of the back row, he's a great server. And they have a great supporting cast. (It was) well-deserved. They were a tough team to beat."

Marquette led, 15-12, in the first game, but Novotny served up seven straight points to put the Crusaders ahead, 19-15. The junior tallied a pair of kills that accounted for the final two points of the game.

"(Novotny) is extremely explosive," Catholic Memorial coach Mike Hanneman said. "He's a dynamic hitter. He plays great defense. He's got a great jump-serve and is able to get good runs on that. He's an offensive weapon."

Catholic Memorial (31-3) entered the postseason on a roll, having not lost a game since dropping two to Nicolet at the Whitefish Bay Invite on Oct. 9. The Crusaders swept all three matches in the two-day state tournament.

"We work really hard on getting good ball control so we can establish our middles," said Hanneman, who won his first state title in his fifth time in the final. "Our middles (sophomores Tony Mack and Eric Schmitz) have come such a long way this year. That opens up holes on the outside. It feels a little bit better to win (the championship game)."

Added Novotny: "Our goal from Day 1 was to get to state and win state. All of the hard work has paid off. It feels great right now. We've always lived in the shadows of Marquette. It feels great to finally overcome that shadow and be bigger than them. They're a great team."

Junior setter Tim Heyrman was solid for the Crusaders, contributing 40 assists. Catholic Memorial had an impressive .405 hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Peter Hutz led the Hilltoppers (39-7) with 16 kills.

"We thought we had some things put together toward the tail end, but we just ran into a hot team," said Sullivan.

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