GENEVA – The Geneva boys volleyball team was firing on all cylinders Tuesday, allowing the Vikings to run over a St. Charles East squad missing a key spark plug.
Geneva disposed of the Saints quickly in an Upstate Eight Conference River Division match, 25-13, 25-15.
East was without head coach Kate McCullagh, who assistant coach Mike Bui said was called away to deal with a family emergency shortly before the team was to leave for Geneva. Bui did his best to fill in, but he said the players missed their leader.
“They’re used to having her around,” he said. “I think that made a huge difference.”
Of course, the strong play of the Vikings (17-6, 3-0) also had something to do with East’s defeat. Geneva senior Mason Stierwalt again led the offensive attack with eight kills, but he had plenty of help from his teammates.
“Everyone played great,” Stierwalt said. “Everyone played together great. No one let us down.”
Chris Parrilli added six kills for the Vikings.
“Chris Parrilli can really score some points,” Geneva coach K.C. Johnsen said. “He jumps and hits the ball and he sees the court so well while he’s doing it.”
Johnsen noted that in addition to Stierwalt and Parrilli, the Vikings can score in the middle with Dominic Bondi and on the right side with Nick Buseki.
“Those are pretty good options for our setters,” he said.
Setter Will Hince had 17 assists for the Vikings and Brandon Navigato came up with 12 digs.
The Saints had most of their success attacking from the left side with junior outside hitters R.J. Yoder and Luke Spicer. Yoder had a pair of kills early in the second game to keep East close at 10-5, but the Vikings scored the next four points – capped by a Parrilli kill – to take command.
Bui said he hopes McCullagh will be back in time for East’s next match Thursday at Riverside-Brookfield.
The Vikings are back in action Thursday at home against South Elgin, then wrap up conference play Tuesday at St. Charles North.
“We’re definitely on a good run,” Stierwalt said. “We’re looking to keep it going through conference and then make a run at regionals.”