Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quarterfinal victory for Crusader boys

 from today's Waukesha Freeman -

CMH 3
Racine Horlick 0

Crusaders gain semis
Dominating performance by Crusaders
 By Tom Badger Freeman Correspondent

MILWAUKEE – They came. They hit. They blocked. They passed.


And when they were done, the Catholic Memorial High School boys volleyball players conquered again – this time in the quarterfinals of the WIAA state tournament played at Wisconsin Lutheran College on Friday.


The Crusaders ousted Racine Horlick 25-11, 2725 25-7, to advance into the semifinal round at noon today against Germantown, a five-game winner over Middleton on Friday. The winner of that semifinal will earn a spot in the 5:30 p.m. finals against the Brookfield East-Marquette semifinal victor.


“Two more to go,” said Memorial first-year coach Taylor Braun, whose team is 39-4.“We’re playing the way we need to play. It was a little
rough and bumpy in the second game because our passing dropped off, but once we fixed that, and our guys were on a mission in Game 3. I’m really excited for these guys. I just hope they’re enjoying this ride as much as I am.”

They are.


“We’ve been looking forward to Saturday all year,” senior Jon Rymer said. “At the beginning of the season, we had this day marked on our calendars. This is about as good as it gets. If we just play our own game, we know that no one can stop us.”


Memorial’s hitting in the first game led to a 7-3 lead with kills by junior Danny Brozynski,
senior Chandler North and senior Luke Whalen. The Crusaders also benefitted when two Horlick returns bounced off the lights and the heating vent.

Two aces by junior Patrick Vandendriessche
kept Memorial in control 11-4 before three straight double-hit violations on the Rebels gave CMH a 17-7 lead.

Nine kills in the first game highlighted the 25-11 victory.


The best game of the match was the second. Horlick heated up and took a 159 lead before three CMH blocks and a Vandendriessche kill knotted the game at 16-16.


“The block was as good as
it’s ever been tonight,” said Rymer, who led CMH with 10 kills. “There were very few errors, no net violations and we were very clean on our blocking. Blocks have a way of turning the momentum in a game.”

Braun agreed.


“Our block has been there all year when we’ve needed it,” Braun said.


Horlick took a 24-21 lead – one point away from squaring the match.


The Rebels’ first shot to win ended with a mishit to the net. The second shot at victory ended when Brozynski delivered a kill and North followed with another to tie the game 24-24.


Tied at 25, Memorial scored twice – the final point coming on a block by North and Rymer.


“Our blocking had to be perfect in order for us to take the W,” Vandendriessche said. “All the credit goes to (Aaron) Siehr and Chandler (North). The middles really came up big tonight. And Luke Whalen owned the line. Not a single hit went down the line.”


Winning close games is nothing new for the Crusaders.


“We’ve said it all year that no lead is safe against us,” Braun said. “There’s no panic on the court. They guys are calm, cool and collected and know exactly what they need to do because it’s something that we drill in practice constantly.”


It was all Memorial in the third game as North served up a 10-point run to fuel a 123 start.


“When we’re passing, we’re an unstoppable team,” Vandendriessche said.
 



Photo credits:  Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman

Top - Catholic Memorial senior Chandler North celebrates after his team won in straight games over Racine Horlick on Friday at Wisconsin Lutheran College. 

Bottom - Catholic Memorial junior Patrick Vandendriessche taps the ball over the net Friday. 

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