Boys Volleyball advances to sectionals


On March 20, the Boys Volleyball team first faced Fenwick at the start of their season beating them in two sets 25-14, 25-21. Photo courtesy of Sophie Smith.

By Glory Lozada, Reporter

After returning from a tough loss against Jones in the semifinals of city playoffs, the Lane Boys Varsity Volleyball team defeated Fenwick on May 24 to win their second consecutive IHSA Regional Final.

Finishing third in the city playoffs, the boys volleyball team had to maintain team chemistry and rebuild their confidence in order to continue their season through state.

Middle blocker Henry Landgraff, Div. 056, expressed how the team’s “All-In” mentality and in-game IQ will ensure improved team performances.

“We all realize there’s no point in not playing as a team and focusing on ourselves,” Landgraff said. ¨We had a huge talk and we have this mentality called ‘All-In’ which means we all give everything we can to serve as a team and a community to represent Lane.”

Lane entered the state tournament with a regional semifinal against Alcott on May 21 for the chance to continue their regional reign.

Following the start of the first set, Lane seemed to be in a great position to advance in the bracket as Alcott struggled to return serves.

With consistent kills by right side Michael Miltenberger, Div. 979, and a lack of inbound returns from the opponent, the team maintained a seven point lead until their defense was challenged with a short tip.

Varsity Coach Lopez explained the team’s defensive lapse.

“Normally we are good at covering,” Lopez said. “I don’t think they were anticipating that from Alcott because that’s a smart play and they just thought Alcott was just going to hit, hit, hit.”

Multiple offensive mistakes by Alcott and great hitting by Lane resulted in a first set win 25-13.

Outside hitter Edgars Cers, Div. 284, led the starting rotation of underclassmen, earning the first point of the second set with a block. Much of the set consisted of short rallies due to out of bounds hitting and defensive mistakes on both sides of the net.

Lopez chose the young rotation to prevent Fenwick from observing their starters as they watched the end of the match.

Lane defeated Alcott in two sets 25-13, 25-20, advancing to face Fenwick in the regional championship for the second straight year.

Senior middle blocker Ethan Ryan, Div. 980, anticipated winning a title as a team this season.

“I just want to make sure that my last season I leave my mark on the program, like we won the championship,” Ryan said.

Ryan hoped for a championship and following the defeat in city playoffs, the boys volleyball team beat Fenwick in three sets for the regional title.

Due to a mix of stress and pressure, Lane led the start of the first set against Fenwick with seven missed serves and a score of 19-14, according to Coach Lopez. He called a timeout and brought the team together to say a few words.

“Our defense is great, so as soon as we stop missing serves we are going to win,” Lopez said. “I said forget about the score, if we are going to win in three sets, we’re going to win in three sets, but let’s do this the way we know how. And they went back out there and they won the first set.”

Fenwick came back in the second set with strong hitting, costing Lane the set win, 25-21.

The third set would determine the regional championship and with crucial defensive play from Miltenberger, Lane gained their second consecutive regional plaque.

Facing St. Patrick in the sectional semifinal on May 24, Lane had to play especially hard since the Shamrocks have repeatedly seen the sectional final, according to Coach Lopez.

“They are almost always in the sectional final and a lot of times they win the sectional final, so for them I would think they’re expecting not just to win, but they’re thinking this is routine because this is what they do,” Lopez said.

The Shamrocks defeated Lane on May 24 in two sets 25-15, 25-22 to advance to the sectional championship against Oak Park and River Forest High School for the third consecutive year.