Friday, September 19, 2014

CMH Boys Volleyball Ground the Warhawks

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Memorial hangs tough in victory
Arrowhead puts up a fight

Arrowhead 1 

By Mark Hutchinson

Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Volleyball is a game of bounces, so resilience is essential to success.

The Catholic Memorial High School boys team provided a case in point Thursday.

The Crusaders defeated Arrowhead 25-20 in the first set of the teams’ Classic 8 Conference match, but the Warhawks countered by taking the second 25-21 and built a 7-1 lead in the third.

Then the bounce-back began.

“We huddled up after the second game and talked about how this is our house,” CMH senior outside hitter Patrick Vandendriessche said. “We
 had to protect our house. That gave us a lot of fire and energy. We started hitting the floor, getting a lot of touches and frustrating the offense.”

CMH coach Dan Chipman agreed, and pointed out another vital component that keyed the Crusaders’ 25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21 triumph.

“Our resilience made the difference,” Chipman said. “Our passing was pretty consistent throughout the match. We didn’t have too many bad passing runs. They had the one jump server, Ryan Korom, who had some nice runs, but when your passing is consistent, that leaves less things to fix. You don’t have to fine-tune multiple things.”

Vandendriessche, who had 18 kills, and senior middle hitter Aaron Siehr, who finished with two solo blocks and three assists, were the dominant figures in CMH’s first-set victory — but the team had to diversify after the Warhawks adjusted.

“So far, we’ve been pretty balanced
 offensively,” said CMH senior outside hitter Danny Brozynski, who had a team-high 19 kills and eight digs. “We try to go to whoever’s hot. Once he gets going and teams set up blocks on him, we try to dish it off someplace else.

“We started off really slow in every single set. That pushed us to work hard. Apparently we’re not working hard enough to start our games, so we need that push. I’m happy about the way we got stronger as the games went on.”

Senior outside hitter Michael Pepitone and sophomore outside hitter Evan Waltz spearheaded Arrowhead’s Game 2 victory. Pepitone, who totaled a team-leading 17 kills, continued to make a strong impression on his coach, Shane Reid.

“He’s been doing that all season and he’s only getting better,” Reid said. “He’s already transformed in the first
 few weeks from being a guy who’s hit-or-miss offensively to being a fella that you can really rely on the whole time. 

“He’s a great leader by example and an awesome senior to have. The guy does everything you ask and more.”

Arrowhead junior setter Ryan Korom had a sixpoint service run to help the Warhawks take the early lead in the third game, but CMH gradually battled back and overtook Arrowhead 15-14 on a Vandendriessche kill.

The set remained close, but the Crusaders never trailed again, prevailing 25-21.

The fourth set was tied eight times before Siehr had a two-point service run to give CMH a 21-18 edge. Brozynski delivered two clutch points to help the Crusaders clinch the set and the match.

“Our senior leadership was key,” Chipman said. “Our outsides really came to play. When we needed a big point, we knew where we were going and we got it.”

Junior setter Peter Aspenson had 21 assists, and senior setter Nick Potrzebowski had 14 for the Crusaders.

“Once we pass — and we can be a very good passing team — we have very talented hitters,” he said. “We have two very talented middles in Aaron (Siehr) and Grant (Dakovich) and two very talented right-siders in Ryan (Brown) and Brandon (Jackson). If we get everyone involved, it makes us a tough team, and it makes the matches fun.”

CMH’s defense was effective as well.

“I think our serving defense made the difference,” Vandendriessche said. “In our earlier games, we’ve missed a lot of serves. In this match, I think we only missed three.

“And our defense got a lot of touches. That frustrated them, and they started doing a lot of roll shots and tips. I think our serving and our defense really kept us in the games.”

Reid liked the competitiveness of his Warhawks, who got 10 kills from Waltz, 25 digs from senior libero Ben Lyle, 45 assists from senior setter Joey Dittman and three blocks from junior middle blocker Riley Voss.

“We all wanted to win,” Reid said. “I wouldn’t say we’d do things differently, but there were a few things we didn’t execute quite well enough to win the match.

“We had our opportunities, no doubt, being up 71 in that third set and 11-7 in that fourth set. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. There’s no doubt about that. But props to them. They got it done.”

Chipman expects more matches like this one as the Classic 8 race unfolds.

“Based on what the rankings are and what we’ve seen so far, our conference is very tough,” he said. “We have four or five of the top 10 teams in the state. Waukesha West is ranked, Muskego is close, Kettle Moraine is ranked, Arrowhead is ranked and we’re ranked.

“We probably have, from top to bottom, the strongest conference in the state.”


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