The Riverside-Brookfield and Oak Park and River Forest High School boys volleyball teams annually meet in one of the more intriguing nonconference matches for both teams each spring. This time around, the Huskies used a couple of late game spurts to sweep the host Bulldogs 25-14, 25-17 on May 1.
OPRF junior outside hitter Blake Mrozek had two kills during the Huskies’ 9-1 run to close out the opening game in emphatic fashion. In Game 2, OPRF offered more of the same late game spurtability with a 10-2 finish to sweep the match.
“We try to get on runs like that the entire game,” OPRF middle hitter Owen Sorensen said. “[Today] we did a great job of it. I’d like to pick up that momentum heading into our next match.”
Senior middle Vince Garcia paced the Bulldogs with six kills, four digs and two blocks, while senior setter Danny Nava led the team in passing with 11 assists and had three digs. Senior setter Ben Brondos and junior middle David Wackrow contributed two blocks and two kills apiece for RBHS (8-16).
“Our intensity kind of fell off at the end of both games,” RBHS outside hitter Mike Chaney said. “Our middles hit well in both games which was a positive. Our team will be fine overall. We don’t have any issues with how many losses we have, we just need to play harder.”
David Hancock notched a match-high nine kills for the Huskies, while Sorensen contributed five kills, three blocks and an assist. Senior setter Brian Rains dished out 19 assists, while Mrozek tallied four kills and a block for OPRF (9-13).
“[At the end of a game], you just have to keep playing the way you have for the whole game,” Hancock said. “We sometimes tighten up and get more tense in the middle of games. We have to try to stay loose and keep playing the same as we have been since the beginning.”
The Bulldogs won two of five matches at the Downers Grove North Invite over the weekend. Chaney earned all-tournament honors with a whopping 51 kills over five matches.
After taking the weekend off, OPRF resumes action this week with matches against York, Brother Rice, St. Francis before competing in the Glenbrook North Invite (May 9-10).
“We just have to feed off of the energy of our win over RB,” Hancock said. “Wins give you energy and lead to other wins. Whether it means doing well in practice or having a good performance against good teams, hopefully it can lead into challenging some of the top teams in state.”