The teams warm up before Thursday’s DVC match at West Aurora.
West Aurora continued its strong start in the DuPage Valley Conference with a hard fought victory over Wheaton North on Thursday.
Outside-hitter David Vasquez had 11 kills and outside-hitter Eric Roggeman registered 10 as the Blackhawks defeated the visiting Falcons 25-15, 26-24.
“Things weren’t working for us very well, I think everybody on the team would admit that. But we kept at it, we kept fighting, we kept scraping,” said West Aurora coach Tolis Koskinaris. “Our hustle, our effort won the game for us.”
After comfortably winning the first game 25-15, the Blackhawks fell into a quick 6-0 hole in the next game. West Aurora (10-4, 3-1) fought back to tie the score seven different times before middle-hitter Joe Frommert’s kill gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the game, 25-24.
On the ensuing point, Roggeman and Patrick Ronan set up a match-sealing kill by Vasquez. The 6’2” senior credited the adept passing ability of Ronan.
“Patrick can pass the ball really well, he’s one of the best players in the conference. If he gets a pass up, you can put it down,” said Vasquez. “Patrick put the ball up on that last play, I saw a big gap in the block and swung for it.”
Vasquez said he never doubted his team’s ability to win the match, even when the Blackhawks faced an early deficit in the second game.
“We just came out really slow and it happens sometimes. We came out in a rut, but I always have faith that we can come back from those things,” said Vasquez. “It’s happened to us before, and we’ve came back. You’ve just got to fight through it.”
Middle-hitter James McGrath had five kills and his block on game-point clinched the first game for the Blackhawks.
The kill-leader for Wheaton North (5-11, 0-4) was middle-hitter Alex Jackson with six. Outside-hitter Zachery Sinn had four kills, while setter Alex Donahue had 12 assists and two blocks.
“The first game we spotted them way too many points, and they did the same thing to us in the second game. They were able to battle back a little better than we did,” said Wheaton North coach Ryan Baker. “They played well consistently through out the match, and we didn’t match that.”
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.
Instagram of mural in West Aurora’s gym. I’m a sucker for Indian head logos.