ST. CHARLES – Two nights after edging St. Charles East in an emotional, three-game match, the St. Charles North boys volleyball team struggled Thursday against Upstate Eight Conference crossover foe South Elgin.
The Storm won in straight sets, 25-15, 25-22, and sent North back to the drawing board.
“The biggest difference tonight was you had one team that showed up tonight,” North Stars coach Todd Weimer said. “I think they were so mentally and physically exhausted after Tuesday, that the season was done, we’re good.”
The North Stars (11-13) had a sloppy start to the second game and found themselves down, 9-2. Senior standout Nic Cook didn’t play because of an abdominal strain he has been fighting.
After a string of South Elgin errors and solid serving by setter Jeff Rollins, North got within one point at 22-21, but Storm senior Nate Marotta buried a kill to end the North Stars’ run.
Marotta had 10 kills to lead the Storm (14-4). Middle hitters Dan Gibadlo, Ian Saxton and Owen Bott all added four kills and played dominant defense at the net. Setter Chris Gibadlo added 19 assists.
“This is one of the tougher stretches of our schedule,” South Elgin coach Adam Plach said. “There was a lot of focus in our preparation … The guys came in here with a good mentality, good attitude to be able to execute the match.”
Drew Lanz finished with four kills for North, while Rollins had eight assists. Trevor Gonzaga (nine) and Brendan Donlevy (eight) paced the team in digs.
North did not lead at any point during the second set. The Stars look to rebound against Larkin on Tuesday at home.