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Another chance : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Another chance
Postseason wins advance Oswego boys' volleyball team to regional final

by Kristin Sharp


The Oswego boys' volleyball team just wanted an opportunity to play Plainfield North one more time this season.

The Panthers, seeded third, battled their way in the Plainfield North Regional championship game with a 25-19, 25-20 victory over No. 2 Bolingbrook on Tuesday - one day after dispatching No. 6 Romeoville by a score of 25-11, 25-19.

With the two wins, Oswego (13-17) set a date with No. 1 Plainfield North on Wednesday in the regional championship game. Results were unavailable at press time. The winner advances to the Bolingbrook Sectional semifinal game on Friday at 7 p.m. against the Joliet West Regional champion.

"I keep telling the guys that they need to approach it as earning their way to getting retribution against Plainfield North," Oswego head coach Zach Splitt said on Monday night.

On Monday, Oswego East had little trouble against Romeoville in Game 1, but the Spartans fought to the end before relinquishing Game 2.

Oswego junior hitter Nick Richard aced his first two serves of the match and Morrell, a senior hitter, knocked down a kill for a 4-1 lead. Morrell paired up with junior David Clausen for a block at the net, and junior Zach Aceret aced his serve for a 7-1 advantage.

Following a Romeoville timeout, junior Shane Bara and Morrell each found the Spartan floor, and Morrell aced his serve during the stretch for a 12-2 lead. Bara added another point, and Aceret and Morrell came through with solid attacks for a 19-7 lead.

Romeoville scored two late points for a 21-8 game, but several Spartan errors closed out the match, ending the game with a passing error for a 25-11 Oswego win.

"We've got another player back, Charles Morrell, who has been out for the past two matches and we had to adjust our rotation," Splitt said after the Romeoville win. "We wanted to get him as many reps we could to get the guys used to playing in those rotations again. It was nice to see the guys gel around him again, get those reps in, and knock the rust off."

Romeoville scored the first point of Game 2, but two net violations and a pair of hits out of bounds resulted in a 5-1 Oswego lead.

Although it appeared the Panthers would cruise through another game victory, Romeoville responded after a pair of points from Bara.

The Spartans cut a sizeable deficit into an 11-8 score thanks to a block and an ace serve. Oswego committed an error, and Romeoville knocked down a kill to tie the game at 12.

Romeoville made a series of misplays, and Clausen scored for a 16-12 lead. The Spartans once again pulled with three (18-15), but Bara added an attack and Clausen scored a late point for a 20-17 lead. Romeoville committed a serving error and could not connect on the pass attempt before Oswego senior Hunter Bowman aced his serve for a 23-18 score. The night ended with Bara's attack, which went untouched on the opposite side of the court.

"I give them a lot of credit because they always find a way to push us on the floor in the second set. Every time we've played them this year we're able to keep them well under 20 in the first set, but they always find a way to push us in the second set," Splitt said. "Today was the first time in the second set that we were able to execute down the stretch. We got ourselves in a really good position in the first set, but I told them the second set is a whole new thing."

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