It was a battle between the two teams tied for 9th place in the state at Brebeuf High School on Wednesday night and the Raiders Boys Volleyball Team came out on top 3-1 (25-14, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22). Cardinal Ritter played good, solid volleyball in sets 1 and 2. Unfortunately, they got off to a slow start in set #3 and were quickly down 7 points. The Raiders put forth a great effort, but could not make up the difference and headed into set #4. The 4th set started out with the Raiders at a disadvantage when Coach Strati made a critical line-up error that resulted in one rotation with zero Middle Hitters in the front row and one rotation with two Middle Hitters in the front row. The unorthodox line-up required a few rotations to smooth out the kinks, but the Raiders managed to stay within a point or two of the Braves as they worked through it. The set continued with the score remaining almost even as the two teams went back and forth with long rallies and lots of hustle. The Raiders kept their composure, improved their communication and continued to work together as a cohesive unit. With the score 24-22, Cade Merrill went back to serve. His serve initially looked to be long, and when no one played the ball for Brebeuf, the bench assumed it had missed long. The line judge called the ball “IN”, there was an uproar from the Raider fans, and Merrill had earned the match winning ACE!
Defense was the name of the game Wednesday and the Raiders provided at the net as well as in the back row. Josh Strati led the team in digs getting a season high 27, Will Roberts and Merrill also had season high dig stats getting 24 and 21 digs respectively, while Matthew Walters added 13. Roberts had a solo block and an assist block, Eric “Cookie” Krumm had 2 solo blocks and 2 assist blocks. Tharran “T-Bone” Cook, Ben “The Jet” Egenolf and Mike Isakson each had 1 assist block.
Roberts dished out 39 assists as the team picked up 45 kills in the match. Krumm led the way with 14 kills, followed by Cook with 8, Josh “JC” Christian and Isakson with 5 each, Sean Bennett and Egenolf with 4, Merrill and Roberts with 2 each and Strati with 1 kill. From the service line, Merrill was 26/27 with 4 aces, Krumm was 11/12 with 1 ace, Strati was 14/15 with 1 ace, Walters was 12/15 with 1 ace. Roberts was a perfect 15/15 and Christian was 7/7.
The JV Raiders also picked up the “W” tonight 2-0 (25-14, 25-22). Multiple injuries of JV team members, had them playing with a brand new, never before practiced, line-up tonight. They made things look easy in set #1 and remained true to fundamentals as they only missed one serve tonight. Bobby Sulecki went 13/13, Elliot Domogalik was 10/10, Michael Kozlowski was 7/7, Bobby Isakson was 6/6, Mark Adolay was 3/3 and Zane Middaugh was 9/10 with 2 aces.
Sulecki led the offense with 5 kills, Patrick Keating had 4 kills and a solo block, Isakson had 4 kills, Domogalik and Stephen Starsiak each had 2 kills. Middaugh picked up 12 digs on the night, Adolay added 11, Isakson had 6, while Sulecki, David Eisele, and Koslowski all had 4 digs apiece.
The Raiders next match is Tuesday, April 3 at home and it is Grandparents Night. JV match begins at 6 with Varsity to follow. We will be recognizing players’ Grandparents during introductions prior to the start of each match. We would love to see you in the gym.