Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crusader VB gets little fight from LaFollette

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Crusader senior, Danny Brozynski
Photo courtesy of Jeff Zmania, JMZPhoto.Com


Madison LaFollette 0 
Brozynski does quick damage
Crusaders cruise into sectional final

By Tony Mooren, Freeman Correspondent 

WAUKESHA — “Short — but nice!”

That was the assessment of Catholic Memorial High School senior Danny Brozynski on Tuesday after his spectacular start propelled the Crusaders to a 25-
13, 25-14, 25-16 WIAA sectional semifinal victory over Madison LaFollette.

The victory nudged Memorial within one victory of a fourth straight trip to the state tournament — a tournament the Crusaders won for the second time in school history in 2010.

The No. 1-seeded Crusaders — and Brozynski in particular — showed that they meant business right away, as Brozynski recorded kills for Memorial’s first three points.

Then he served — and boy did he serve: five straight
aces for a 10-1 lead that pretty well finished his night. He exited and returned only briefly in the third game.

“That was probably one of the shortest nights I’ve ever had,” Brozynski said. “It was short — but nice. It was good we started out the way we did. Being my senior year, there may not be many more chances — lose and you go home.”

As for the aces, Brozynski said, “I guess I was on. It usually doesn’t happen like that. I was really happy that we came out and played like that to get our confidence

The huge start was exactly what first-year co-coaches Dan Chipman and Brad Mikulice hoped for.

“When you’re playing a team you’re expected to beat, it’s important to get off to a good start and not let your opponent get any confidence,” Chipman said.

Helping to erode any confidence LaFollette tried to build was CMH sophomore Zach Engsberg, who was playing his first match since suffering a broken arm during practice early in the season.

“I was able to hit and serve after surgery, but I wasn’t released to play until last Monday,” Engsberg said. “They (coaches) didn’t know if I was fully ready so I didn’t play last week, but it was nice to play and get to a sectional final. I was happy with my play but I know that I can play better.”

Memorial expanded its huge start to a 23-7 advantage before settling for its 2513 first-game victory — a game in which nine different players scored points.

“There’s a lot of competition in practice and a lot of players are on the verge of breaking into the starting lineup, so this was a good opportunity for players to get in,” “We were able to get everyone in — everyone except (senior) Grant Dakovich, who has an ankle injury,” Chipman said.

Brozynski finished with seven aces and four digs total and led the team in first-game points with eight, while Engsberg and sophomore Matt Potrzebowski led the team in kills with six apiece and senior Brandon Jackson added six kills.

Senior Nick Potrzebowski led in assists with 13 and junior Peter Aspenson had nine assists.

Senior Aaron Siehr, junior Gavin Branick and sophomore Ryan Brown had three points apiece to lead the Crusaders in the second game and Jackson (six points), Engsberg (three) and Matt Potrzebowski (three) were the third-game points leaders.

One of the confidence factors for Memorial is the fact that it’s been a somewhat up-and-down team — in part due to its makeup.

“For the most part, we have a goofy group and sometimes it takes awhile to get into games,” Chipman said. “Once we got off to the big lead, we were really able to relax and play well.”

Memorial raced to 11-3 leads in the second and third games — and 15-4 in the third — before coasting.

Starters accounted for 14 points in the first game, eight in the second and nine in the third.

The Crusaders were held to a single serve just three times until late in the third game.

So now it’s off to a sectional final at Waukesha West on Thursday.

“It’s good to get back to where we’ve been in past years,” Mikulice said.

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