West Aurora huddles before its regional quarterfinal match against St. Joseph.
West Aurora outside hitter Eric Roggeman set the tone early as the Blackhawks defeated St. Joseph 25-6, 25-16 Monday night in an opening round game of the West Aurora regional.
Roggeman tallied two kills and an ace in the first five points of the match as West Aurora shot out to an early 4-1 lead. Later in the game, the Blackhawks went on a 13-0 run that gave them a commanding 18-3 lead. St. Joseph made 13 errors as it dropped the first game 25-6.
“He came out ready to play. His hits were very clean. He’s very committed to ending strong his senior year,” West Aurora coach Tolis Koskinaris said of Roggeman. “I know he really badly wants to do this, and it showed today.”
St. Joe’s play improved in the second game, and after a 7-2 Chargers run, the game was tied 14-14. However, the Blackhawks answered back immediately, going on a 11-2 run to clinch a 25-16 victory.
“Today was one of those games where you’ve got to stay consistent. You can’t let your guard down, because these are the teams that sneak up on you and come back when you don’t expect them to,” Roggeman said.
“They gave us a little bit of a scare in the second game, but we know we’re the better team, and we finished it out strong.”
Roggeman led the Blackhawks with nine kills while middle hitter Joe Frommert and outside hitter David Vasquez each added five. Libero Patrick Ronan had 11 digs.
No. 11 seeded West Aurora will take on No. 7 seeded Downers Grove South Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in a regional semifinal game. Koskinaris said he expects a tough battle.
“It’s going to be a very good game tomorrow night. I expect nothing less. It’s going to be close, and it’s going to be good,” Koskinaris said.
Roggeman said the Blackhawks are up to the task thanks to their tough DuPage Valley Conference schedule.
“I’ve never seen them play, but I’ve heard they’re pretty good,” Roggeman said. “But we’ve played some pretty darn good teams, so I’m ready for the challenge.”
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.