It’s a good thing that Lake Park coach Tim Murphy prefers speed over size because he has a lot of one and not much of the other.
“We have really good tempo and timing and things, which I think are more important than height,” Murphy said. “I’ll beat a team with my speed over their height any day. Speed is something we have.”
Lake Park (6-0) got nine kills from 6-4 Shawn Fritsche, four kills from 6-1 Dominick Terry and 20 assists and three kills from 6-1 setter Quin Krisik to defeat Minooka 25-20, 25-20 in pool play Friday at the Tiger Classic hosted by WW South.
Minooka (1-1) built leads of 9-6, 14-11 and 19-16 in Game 1 courtesy of five kills and four aces by 6-5 rightside hitter Mitch Perinar and seven kills from 6-5 outside hitter Mason Novak. The Indians also feature 6-10 rightside Justin Toth.
“They have a couple of real good players,” Murphy said. “I think those guys were pretty effective. We tried to key on them throughout the match, tied to limit how much success they would have. They were in control the first half of the first game, but we didn’t sweat.
“That’s another thing we do. We don’t fall into adversity. We stuck together and pulled it out together.”
Krisik, one of 10 seniors on the Lake Park roster, said he and his teammates have been working nearly non-stop since last season to get ready for one final state tournament run. The Lancers were upset by St. Charles North in the sectional finals a year ago.
“We never really stopped,” he said. “We took a two-week break after the club season. We have a couple of new guys and the biggest thing right now is just getting reps together. Hopefully, by the end of the season that’s when we’ll be playing our best.”
Minooka, which reached the state quarterfinals last year before losing to Lincoln-Way North, featured two new middle hitters, a new setter and a rookie libero. Nerves were part of the equation Friday, coach Janel Grzetich said.
Serve receive, service errors,” she said. “I stopped counting after a while. I know partly that’s first game jitters. I’m upset about the errors. But I can let it go because hopefully we’re getting it out of our system right now.”
Sixth-seeded Lake Park followed its win over Minooka with a 25-17, 27-25 victory over Bishop Moeller of Cincinnati to advance to Saturday’s Gold flight. Unlike Thursday when Barrington was the only top eight seed to advance, three of the four top seeds survived Friday’s pool play.
Third-seeded Brother Rice (8-0) swept Marist (25-11, 25-18) and Hilliard (Ohio) Darby (25-17, 25-11), and top-seeded Lincoln-Way East (9-0) cruised past Naperville North (25-17, 25-21) and DeSmet (Mo.) 25-17, 25-14.
Fourth-seeded Glenbrook North dropped its pool opener to Naperville Central 28-26, 21-25, 25-20.