Lyons fans show their appreciation after the Lions beat Brother Rice on June 2. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Lyons fans show their appreciation after the Lions beat Brother Rice on June 2. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | Lyons boys volleyball takes second; D230 United finishes fourth in girls lacrosse

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

There is no argument which conference is Illinois’ most dominant when it comes to boys volleyball.

The West Suburban Conference took the top three spots in the IHSA state tournament in Hoffman Estates, with Lyons smack dab in the middle with a second-place finish.

Glenbard West won it all with a 25-18, 25-20 victory over the Lions, and Oak Park took third with a 25-27, 25-16, 25-18, win over O’Fallon.

The state finals were played June 3 at Hoffman Estates High School.

Brother Rice made it to the state quarterfinals, but dropped a 25-17, 25-23 decision to Lyons on June 2.

For Lyons (34-7), it was the best finish in program history.

“I’ve said this before, but we always felt that this group was talented,” said senior hitter Sam Levinson. “Every day we kept making history. It’s really special.”

Levinson had nine kills in the title match and Luka Kostic had six. Carson Turner had 15 assists and Tommy Culver added seven.

The Crusaders (32-8) were led by Shauniel Nelson and Nathan Kramer, who each had 10 kills. Luke Dwyer had 26 assists.

Dwyer’s father, Dan, coached his last game with the Crusaders. The retiring Dwyer has been either a head or assistant coach at the school for all 31 years of the program’s existence. He finished with 202 wins, according to the IHSA. He picked up his 200th victory with little fanfare in the sectional semifinals against St. Rita on May 27.

“When we won the 750th match in program history, that was the big one for me,” Dwyer said. “I was a varsity coach for every one of those victories. I may have missed four matches the entire time. I didn’t even realize what my own personal record was.”

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Lyons Leo Wiemelt (right) and Brother Rice’s Brendan McCarthy meet in the middle of a state quarterfinal match on June 2. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

United takes fourth
The District 230 United girls lacrosse team finished its historic postseason run with a fourth-place finish in the IHSA state tournament, which was held June 2-3 at Hinsdale Central High School.

United comprises students from Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew. This was the program’s first state semifinals appearance.

The mantra for the team was “All Gas No Brakes” this season, but it was tough for the team to catch any breaks in the state tournament, losing 15-4 to Hinsdale Central in the semifinals and 14-4 to Lake Forest in the third-place game.

Keira Doyle-Odenbach had three of United’s four goals in the semifinals while Holly Brouette added one and Maddie Bailey recorded an assist.

In the third-place game, Gina Sulek, Bailey, Doyle-Odenbach and Maya Jaisingh each had goals while Sulek, Brouette and Doyle-Odenbach each had assists.

Doyle-Odenbach, a junior, thinks the experience playing at state was valuable.

“We played gritty, and we hustled,” she said. “We needed to lock it down on defense. We need to learn from our mistakes and let them roll right off our back.”

The team finished 19-2. Doyle-Odenbach led the team with 86 goals, while Bailey led in assists with 28.

The goalies this season were Gabby Virgen and Nora Miner.

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District 230 United’s Genna Sulek gets ready for the team’s first faceoff in a state semifinal game on June 2. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

Transfer carousel
The boys basketball transfer merry-go-round is spinning again at a fast pace now that summer basketball is here.

The final member of St. Rita’s “fab four” class of 2024 has left, with Morez Johnson announcing he is heading to Thornton.

He joins Josh Pickett (West Aurora), Jaedin Reyna (Bishop Noll in Indiana) and James Brown (Link Academy in Missouri) in leaving the school.

The mastermind in bringing these four together was coach Roshawn Russell, who left the program last month to become an assistant coach at St. Laurence.

Pickett, the first of the four to leave, is reuniting with Russell, as he is leaving West Aurora after two years to head to St. Laurence.

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