Marian Catholic and the Piekarski family aren’t ready to call it quits.
Jake Piekarski recorded nine kills and his younger brother Zak Piekarski had six as Marian ousted Oak Lawn Monday morning 25-21, 22-25, 25-18 in an exciting Marian Catholic Regional quarterfinal. The brothers also happen to play for their father, coach Bob Piekarski.
“There’s always some conflict there playing with the little brother, but it’s always fun and he’s a great player,” said Jake Piekarski, a senior middle hitter. “It doesn’t always seem like it, but I do love him and love having him as our setter.”
The brothers worked well together in the final set. Zak Piekarski fed Jake Piekarski for two kills in a three-point span to give Marian a 19-16 advantage it would never relinquish.
Temitope Onayemi added seven kills while Liam Fagan and Alan Kickert each added a pair of critical third-set aces for No. 17 Marian (9-20), which advances to host No. 3 Lincoln-Way North in a regional semifinal 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Oak Lawn (12-24) won the kills battle 39 to 28, but it also had more attack errors and struggled with its serve — especially in the third set.
“That definitely helped us a ton,” said Marian coach Bob Piekarski. “The second game we missed a few key serves, which hurt us, but our serving and blocking picked up (in the third game).”
All-South Suburban setter Jeremy Lencki served two aces and hit Blake Novak for 14 kills for Oak Lawn (12-24). Nate Jones added 13 kills and Trevor Wagner had eight.
Oak Lawn had its chances in Set 3 behind a big game from Novak, but five service errors over the first 30 points gave Marian a 16-14 lead.
“Serving has been a struggle for us all year,” Oak Lawn coach Matt Hunt said. “We would miss serves at key points — either bombing it out or serving it into the bottom of the net — so a lot of that’s mental.
“There’s talent here, but we’ve got to put in work and get better in the offseason.”