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North boys volleyball drops tight match to Schaumburg

SCHAUMBURG – The Schaumburg boys volleyball team rallied from a six-point deficit to beat St. Charles North, 28-26, in the decisive third set Friday night.

The North Stars lost the first game, 25-17, and won the second, 25-18.

The Saxons led early in the third contest. The North Stars went ahead 9-8 on a block by Jeff Rollins block (20 assists, seven kills, seven digs). North widened the margin to six points, 17-11, on a tip by Jack Bujko (five kills, four digs, two blocks).

North (1-1) were within one of point winning the match after Brendan Donlevy‘s fifth kill of the night. The Saxons scored the next four points, tied the game 24-all on a block and then took a 25-24 lead on a kill by Nidhin Thomas.

A net violation on Schaumburg (1-0) tied the game up at 25 but the Saxons retook the lead on a kill from Stephen Knitter (10 digs, six kills). The game returned to a tie on a Schaumburg hitting error.

A Romario Rios (eight kills) blast returned the lead to the Saxons and an ace by Cameron Nolan (seven kills, four blocks) clinched the victory.

“We were in the driver’s seat the whole way and then communication got a little quieter. We started playing like were going to lose instead of playing to win,” North coach Todd Weimer said about the third set. “When you talk less and start thinking they are catching up, catching up, of course you are going to get that loss nine times out of 10.”

Hitting errors and net violations plagued the team in the first-set loss.

“I saw like eight things I didn’t like [in the first game]. They fixed them and we played well in the second set,” Weimer said. “The team did a heck of a job making a ton of adjustments after that first set.”

While the North Stars tightened their play in the second game, the Saxons suffered from several mistakes. North’s game point came on a net violation.

“We got a little nervous in the middle,” said Jeff O’Brien, Schaumburg’s coach. ”It was mental lapses [in the second set] so we focused on bringing back what we do well as opposed to trying to do stuff that we are uncomfortable with. We brought things back to our comfort zone and went from there.”

North Stars sophomore Drew Lanz had nine kills and eight digs. Nic Cook added 16 digs.

The North Stars return to action April 5 at the West Aurora Invite.

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