Everyone gets into the act in Thursday's straight set win over visiting NT
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
In another dominating performance that showcased its size up front, strong accurate serves, veteran setters and talent up and down the bench, the Lockport boys varsity volleyball team dominated visiting North Tonawanda in straight sets on Thursday, topping Niagara Frontier League action.
The scores were 25-16, 25-5, 25-21.
Sophomore Jason Donorovich (8 kills, 4 blocks) and junior Shawn Moore (6 blocks, 2 kills), both middle hitters, dominated at the net throughout, as head coach Joe Whalen's young, but extremely talented team improved to 3-1 in the NFL and 5-1 overall.
High-flying junior outside hitter Bryce Perry and experienced sophomore outside hitter Brad Schneider (10 assists) added four kills apiece, while heavy hitting junior outside hitter Ryan Guyton chipped in with three kills and a block and junior setter and court general Jack Whalen added 12 service points and 10 assists, including two straight leaping aces in the second game.
“Our middles did a good job of keeping their defense off balance and we also served very well,” Whalen said. “Those service aces were huge and it was nice to see Jason's jump serve on.”
Lockport's junior libero Eamon Yates also played well throughout, as did junior Jeff Wojcinski in his place.
“Eamon is very important and does a good job of settling down the back row. He's made that position his own,” Whalen said. “And all our setters did a good job tonight controlling the attacks.”
Perry, 5-10, plays like a much taller player and has the leaps and finesse shots to match.
“Bryce has been hitting smart balls. He slows the game down and knows where to put the shot. He isn't just smacking the ball away,” Whalen said.
The Lions jumped out quickly to a 4-1 lead in the first set as Perry picked up an ace, but head coach Luke Hodgson's Jacks
battled back to keep things close. Guyton went to the rafters to smack home a kill, but NT junior Ryan Fritz responded with
a blocking kill and the game was tied 5-5.
Whalen went to the service line and delivered three straight points, thanks in part to a Donorovich spiking kill, then moments
later, Guyton served up an ace and five more points, then blocks and kills by Schneider, Guyton and Moore sent them on their
way to a 25-16 victory.
Yates served up a great start to the second set and Whalen had his best trip to the line of the night moments later as the Lions dominated from start to finish. Guyton, Whalen and Moore spikes got the Lions off to a 15-3 start and they cruised to a 25-6 win. Whalen had two hard, well-placed aces and six straight service points down the stretch and Donorovich served out the win impressively with an ace.
With Whalen substituting heavily, Moore dominated the third set, smacking down every ball that came his direction, many for easy points. Schneider had another nice run at the service line and Lockport finished off the Jacks, 25-20.
“We've been working hard on our blocks in practice and it's paying off in the games,” Moore said. “Today we had good backcourt defense and our passers did well. Everyone's doing their job well.”
Topping the Jacks with five kills and three digs was senior Andrew Metzger, while Fritz added five kills for NT (2-3 NFL).
“It was great drama, with ups and downs, I laughed and I cried — kind of like a great Shakespearean tragedy,” said NT head coach Luke Hodgson. “We need more time to develop some our our younger guys. There were moments tonight when we did what we had to do and other times we forgot what to do.”
NT 3, Lockport 1
NORTH TONAWANDA — The visiting Lady Lions played another strong match on Thursday, bowing to the Lady Jacks in four close games.
The scores were 25-23, 21-25, 28-18, 25-21.
Among the top performers for head coach Kim Lockie's Lady Lions (2-5 NFL) was senior Sarah Mulvey with 22 digs.
Topping NT (6-1 NFL) with 21 kills was Gabby Hansen.
Next up for the Lady Lions is the 2012 Eden Tournament, which begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.