Boys Volleyball | Reavis on cusp of 1st conference crown since 2018
By Randy Whalen
Reavis is having such a good season it’s scary.
“It’s terrifying trying to win the conference,” Reavis sophomore outside hitter Joey Walus said. “Every team wants to beat us but we’re not going to allow it.”
Walus walloped the match-winning kill as Reavis held off visiting Richards 25-19, 25-23 to move a step closer to its first South Suburban Conference Red title since 2018 on May 9 in Burbank.
Two days later, the Rams (21-8, 8-0) clinched at least a share of the conference crown with a 25-14, 25-12 win over TF United in Calumet City.
Reavis has at least 20 wins for the first time since going 23-10-3 in 2018. They went 12-18 in 2022.
“We are really close and it feels good,” Reavis senior setter Kuba Nosek said following the win over Richards. “The second set was an emotional roller coaster. But we just had to come together to fix everything and let the ball do the work.
“There’s a lot of emotional support with us. We know one player can’t do it all; you need the whole team.”
The second set featured 11 ties. Trailing 23-22, Reavis scored the final three points on a kill by Ean Schultz (6 kills), a block by fellow senior middle hitter Tommy Wasiel and a kill from Walus.
“It felt great,” Walus said of the match-winner. “This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get that one.”
Nosek finished with 26 assists. Senior right side hitter Matt Swiatek swatted five kills and sophomore libero Krystian Paluch added 15 digs for the Rams.
In the win over TF United, Nosek added 29 assists and nine digs, Swiatek swatted nine kills and Paluch had 16 digs. Schultz and Tommy Wasiel each had seven kills.
The Rams will look to win the SSC Red outright this week. They will be the No. 5 seed in the Brother Rice Sectional and will seek their first regional championship since winning their seventh in nine seasons in 2011.
“We needed last year for this year,” Reavis coach Mike Jebens said of the team’s struggles in 2022. “We needed that experience of guys figuring it out and putting in the work in the off-season to get to this point.
“There can be some special things here if we take care of business in the final matches. To get 20 wins doesn’t happen very often here at Reavis.”
Against Reavis, senior outside hitter Wiktor Kuzmiuk led Richards with 11 kills, nine of them in the second set, and junior setter AJ Pawlecki had 10 assists and two aces. Senior libero Diego Fonseca had nine digs for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs (9-17) rebounded to defeat host Oak Forest 25-20, 25-12 on May 11 to improve to 5-4 in the SSC Red. They went 1-4 at their own tournament, including a trio of close losses on May 13.
“In the second set (v. Reavis), we had a lot of good effort,” said Richards coach Troy Grevengoed. “We have to play like that all the time and learn to finish a match.
“It’s the first time since my first season as boys coach, 20 years ago, that we don’t have any club players. But it’s OK, we’re holding our own.”
The Bulldogs will be the 14th seed in the Brother Rice Sectional.
“We’re in a position to upset someone,” Grevengoed said. “We just have to be consistent.”
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