It was thumbs-up for senior Luke Dwyer and Brother Rice on May 15 as the Crusaders knocked off nationally ranked Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

It was thumbs-up for senior Luke Dwyer and Brother Rice on May 15 as the Crusaders knocked off nationally ranked Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | Brother Rice and Lyons boys volleyball top Illinois’ top-ranked teams

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

The boys volleyball postseason opened this week, but what happened during the last week of the regular season was perhaps as unexpected as any playoff upset.

It started May 15, when host Brother Rice knocked off Marist, 27-25, 16-25, 25-20. The RedHawks entered the match ranked sixth in the nation by the USA Today/United States Volleyball Association and was second among Illinois teams. Shauniel Nelson led the Crusaders with 13 kills and Brendan McCarthy added eight.

The next day, Lyons went one better, knocking off Glenbard West, 32-30, 25-20. West was ranked fifth in the nation and was the top Illinois school on the list.

West had won 32 consecutive matches after opening the season with a loss to Lincoln-Way East. It appeared the defending state champs, which had two wins over Marist, was clicking on all cylinders before running into the Lions.

 

Dwyer honored
Whether Brother Rice head beaten Marist or not, that night was going to be filled with celebration, as retiring Crusaders coach Dan Dwyer was honored. Dwyer has been either a head coach or assistant for all 31 years the Brother Rice program has existed. The Crusaders have more than 700 wins in their history.

Paul Ickes was the coach for the first 559 matches from 1993 through 2014 and was on hand to deliver a pregame speech. He talked about a chance meeting with Dwyer before a Prep Bowl football game at Soldier Field.

“I had Dan my first year of teaching at Rice,” Ickes said. “I told Dan I had permission to start Brother Rice’s volleyball program and we were going to begin competing in spring 1993.”

Dwyer told him that was great and that he had played club volleyball at Marquette. He wanted to know how he could help.

“I told him to come to school on Monday and he did,” Ickes said. “That’s how it all got started.”

Dwyer has been a staple with the program for three decades.

“The numbers on the banners speak for themselves and Dan Dwyer has been a part of every single one of them,” Ickes said. “Tonight, there are many alumni parents, coaches, managers and players at Brother Rice that played here, including Marist head coach Jordan Vidovic.

“Tonight, we honor coach Dwyer. Dan, congratulations on an amazing career. You helped establish this program and provided numerous opportunities for literally thousands of young men in the Southland to play volleyball. The game that we all love.”

Another oddity happened to close the week when St. Rita (18-16 in regular season) fell to Providence (11-23), 25-15, 25-21, then turned around the next night and knocked off Lyons (29-6).

DAN DWYER HONORED scaled

Retiring Brother Rice boys volleyball coach Dan Dwyer was honored on May 15 before his team stunned Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

Champs
Brother Rice tied Loyola for the Chicago Catholic League title with a 12-25, 25-21, 25-13 victory over the Ramblers on May 18. Both had 9-1 league records. The Crusaders finished the regular season with a 28-7 mark.

Marist recovered from its nonconference loss to the Crusaders to finish unbeaten in the East Suburban Catholic Conference to win its eighth straight league title.

Reavis won the South Suburban Conference with a 10-0 mark and did not drop a set in its league matches.

 

Red Stars continue reeling
The Chicago Red Stars stayed in last place in the NWSL standings after dropping a 4-0 road decision to defending league champion Portland (4-1-3) on May 21.

The Red Stars (1-6-1) hope to get back on the winning track when they host the Orlando Pride (3-4-1) at 7 p.m. May 27 in an NWSL game at SeatGeek Stadium. They have a quick turnaround with a 7 p.m. game in Bridgeview against Racing Louisville on May 31 in a Challenge Cup contest.

 

Osorio scores, Fire II loses
Harold Osorio scored in his third straight game but the Chicago Fire II lost, 3-2, on the road to Toronto on May 21 in an MLS NEXT Pro game.

Michael Nesci scored his first professional goal for Chicago (2-3-3).

On May 20, the Fire II signed Norwegian defender Andreas Ueland to a NEXT Pro contract for the rest of the year. The 23-year-old played at Virginia.

The Fire II hosts Crown Legacy at 5 p.m. on May 28 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Crown Legacy (7-1-1) is affiliated with the Charlotte Football Club.

 

Hounds lose again
The Chicago Hounds scored first on a Luke Carty kick, but it was all Seattle (10-2-0) after that as the Hounds suffered a 35-13 road loss in May 20 in Major League Rugby.

The Hounds (1-11-0) take on the Houston SaberCats (7-5-0) on the road at 7 p.m. May 27. Houston beat Chicago, 38-21, earlier this season in Bridgeview.

LYONS CELEBRATES scaled

Lyons boys volleyball team, celebrating in a match at the recent Richards Tournament, pulled off a huge win over Glenbard West on May 16. Photo by Jeff Vorva

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