Friday, September 20, 2013

PREP BOYS VOLLEYBALL - Crusaders down Hawks

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Arrowhead 1

North sends team in right direction
Victory over key foe reason to celebrate

By Jeff Hagenau Freeman Correspondent 

TOWN OF MERTON – Chandler North’s killer instinct made a lasting impact.

North, a 5-foot-9 senior rightside/middle blocker, had 13 kills, four blocks and four digs to help lead the Catholic Memorial High School boys volleyball team to a 25-17, 25-14, 25-27, 25-19 victory over Arrowhead in a Classic 8 Conference dual meet Thursday.

Memorial, the top-ranked team in the state coaches poll, improved to 2-0 in conference and 3-1 overall.

Leading 15-13 in the pivotal fourth game, the Crusaders went on a decisive 10-6 run to seal the victory.

North had three kills and six service points during the key spree, highlighted by a thunderous cross-court spike to extend the lead to 17-15.

“It was a great battle,” said North, who also competes on Memorial’s basketball and baseball teams.

“The atmosphere was loud and really set the tone for a great match-up between two of the top teams in the conference.”

North was quick to point out that the key to success centered around staying mentally tough after losing the third game.

“It took us a little while to calm down, but we eventually found our groove and rose to the occasion,” North added. “That’s when we were able to go on a big run to seal off the match. It was the first time this season that I demanded the ball in the middle down the stretch.”

Junior outside hitter Patrick Vandendriessche followed with 13 kills and nine digs for the Crusaders, who have eight seniors on their roster. Senior middle blocker Luke Wahlen had six blocks, and senior setter Jon Rymer added 30 assists.

Memorial first-year coach Taylor Braun liked the way his team responded to facing a fierce conference rival on the road.

“The guys showcased their experience after losing the third game,” said Braun, a former Memorial standout outside hitter. “At that point, the guys did a nice job of working through the
 setback, played with confidence and built momentum to take control down the stretch.

“Being the most difficult place to play in the conference, we had this night circled on the calendar as one of the biggest matches of the season. It was exciting to see everything come together.”

Senior outside hitter Eric Tarnow had a team-high 12 kills for Arrowhead, 1-1 in conference and 2-3 overall. Sophomore libero Mitchell Pralle contributed 18 digs and junior setter Joey Dittman had 14 assists for the Warhawks.

Senior setter Jake Barry added three service aces for the Warhawks, two coming during Arrowhead’s emotional come from behind victory in the third game.

“We made a lot of nice plays, didn’t back down and competed with a lot of intensity against the top team in the state,” said Arrowhead coach Shane Reid, who was pleased with his team’s intensity on Parents’ Night.

“It was a great feeling to see everyone on the team play with passion and continually hustle for each point. Although it didn’t come out in our favor, we took a lot away from the experience and will use it as a great motivator in the weeks to come.”

Photo Credit: Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman Catholic Memorial senior Luke Wahlen, No. 11, celebrates with teammates on a kill against Arrowhead early in the first game at Arrowhead on Thursday. 

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