Win or lose, the Riverside-Brookfield boys volleyball team benefits from playing Oak Park annually because of the Huskies’ proven track record of success. Oak Park earned a 25-15, 25-22 victory against RB on Friday, extending its winning streak to five matches in a row.
From the Bulldogs’ perspective, Oak Park was a missed opportunity.
“We’re looking for that signature win,” RB coach Dan Bonarigo said. “I thought maybe we could get it against Oak Park or [earlier this season] against Morton or St. Patrick, but we have lost some close matches. Playing Oak Park is great for us because of their competitive history; we’re still building ours.”
Riverside-Brookfield (10-5) struggled with a few vital components of the game against the host Huskies.
“The two most important skills in volleyball are passing and serving,” Bonarigo said. “We did both of those poorly against Oak Park. We had nine service errors which hurt, but even if we passed better that would have made a big difference.”
Consequently, the Bulldogs’ offensive numbers were considerably down as Trent Baer led the team with four kills and a block. Mack Fiesler had three kills and Alex Dziagwa added two kills.
Oak Park (12-5) took control early with solid efforts from DJ Valenti (7 kills) and Greg Kordesh (5 kills). Will Kemper added four kills and an ace, while setter Diego Rodriguez-Guerrios tallied 20 assists.
“I thought we were a little sloppy,” Oak Park coach Don August said. “We made a few errors than I would have liked, but we held leads in both games. RB is a good team that plays hard. [RB head coach] Dan (Bonarigo) is doing a good job with that program.”
Prior to their Oak Park visit, RB enjoyed a successful week, picking up wins over Fenton 25-23, 25-18 and Montini 25-16, 25-17.
Ben Bergstrom tallied 11 kills, five digs and a block against Fenton. Elliot Louthen had 28 assists and Stephen McCroary anchored the Bulldogs’ defense with a career-high 14 digs.
The Bulldogs take on Fenwick this week.