Seizing momentum is every team’s goal in volleyball.
Elk Grove grabbed it early and kept it to end Larkin’s season quickly Monday in the Westminster Regional, 25-8, 25-13. Rolling Meadows, had it, surrendered it and then regained it again in a 25-21, 14-25, 25-16 win over the most successful Streamwood team in school history. Palatine then scored an easy 25-8, 25-16 win over Westminster.
“We had a couple big blocks in the third game that really helped us push forward and it gave our team something to rally around,” Rolling Meadows senior right side Tom Srnak said. “It turned the game and got us the momentum back.
“Our team tends to die out at the end and we needed to find our energy and get back going again.”
Rolling Meadows led just 14-13 in the third game after it seemed to have control early, but a long Sabres serve, a block by Trevor Glasgow that led to a point of a Sabres mistake, and then a back-row kill by Srnak began a 5-0 run. Rolling Meadows was on its way to scoring 11 of the match’s final 14 points.
Srnak had nine kills, Paul Wojcik eight, Tom Murphy five and Glasgow five for Rolling Meadows (16-16).
Streamwood (20-14) had 12 kills, two blocks, nine digs and an ace from junior hitter Jonah Exline and 11 kills, an ace, a block and 11 digs by senior Phil Lewy. Senior setter Martin Blancas had 37 assists and triggered the Sabres’ Game 2 win with two aces in a 6-0 run at the start.
“The third game there were a lot of ups and downs and we didn’t do a good enough job of getting the momentum back once they had it,” Sabres coach Lisa Harrison said. “We had the most wins Streamwood has ever had and definitely had a great season, beat some pretty good teams.
“We were fortunate to have some talented kids who did a great job and hopefully with some of them back next year we’ll get even better.”
Larkin (2-24) had a 4-0 lead in the first game and 3-1 in the second before Elk Grove (22-15) quickly took over behind the net play of Kevin Wickstrom, Sam Ostling and Sam Jasutis. Jasutis had two big blocks and Wickstrom
six kills. Ostling had five kills and Raymond Kraus totaled 19 assists.
“You never really know in volleyball,” coach Dan Windholz said. “We tried to make sure the kids were focused and stayed focused.
“Sam Ostlig and Sam Jasutis blocked well, but as a team we gave up too many points off unforced errors.”
Larkin had two kills from Cleo Redmond and two digs from Eriberto Pelayo.
“It’s just tough to sustain anything when you don’t have the offensive firepower you need for boys volleyball,”
Larkin coach Henry Graack said. “We’ve played a ball control game too much.We really need someone to be able to put the ball away. Somebody has got to get kills for you.”