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Boys volleyball previews- Elite hitters fuel Glenbard East, Addison Trail

Senior-heavy Willowbrook and young York look for improvement

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:55 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Erik Fiebrandt (left) and Joey Farrell battle at the net Wednesday during Glenbard East practice.
Check out photos from Glenbard East boys volleyball practice  
   

Glenbard EastCoach: Marci Maier
2012 record:
32-7
Top players:
Joey Farrell sr. OH Zach Greene sr. MH
First match:
6 p.m. Wednesday at Willowbrook

What to watch:

Glenbard East's departure from the DuPage Valley Conference is thought of as a football move, but the Rams' boys volleyball program should also be happy to get away from Wheaton Warrenville South.

The Rams went 32-7 last year and lost five times to the Tigers, twice in conference, twice in tournaments and in the sectional final. Joey Farrell, a four-year varsity player and Penn State commit, will lead this season's effort to unseat the Tigers.

Farrell had 186 kills and was special mention all-conference last season. Zach Greene also contributed last year and will be a key part of the attack at middle hitter.

"We had a great season last year and lost many key players, however we have eight returning players," said coach Marci Maier. "Our goals as always are to better the previous season and try to make it back to the state tournament."

York
Coach:
Ken Dowdy2012 record: 15-18Top players: Jason Bowles jr. OH Sebastian Guzman jr. L Sean Lyons jr. DS/OH Connor O'Ryan sr. MHFirst match: 6 p.m. Wednesday at Stagg

What to watch:

The Dukes return just two starters, but coach Ken Dowdy is optimistic about his team. A group of six juniors saw time on varsity as sophomores and will be in the mix again this spring.

"I think in the beginning of the year it's going to take a little bit of time to get on the same page offensively and defensively as a cohesive unit," Dowdy said. "I actually expect us to be better this year."

Connor O'Ryan is a senior, but he is only in his third year of playing volleyball after playing baseball his freshman year. O'Ryan is a raw talent that Dowdy said has the ability to hit from the back row and be an all-conference level player.

Jason Bowles and Anthony Cano also have the ability to hit from the back row. Meanwhile, libero Sebastian Guzman and defensive specialists Sean Lyons and Kevin Peronto will form a tough back line. The ability to go with a heavy attacking or defending lineup will provide York options this spring.

Junior Joseph Duda will take over at setter.

"The program is looking great," said Dowdy, who enters his third year. "We have high numbers at the freshman and sophomore level."

Addison Trail
Coach:
Tom Hubner2012 record: 23-15Top players: Pat Adamczyk sr. MH Alex Dickmann so. OH Kevin Grygo jr. S Matt Hernet sr. OH Marko Parisi jr. LFirst match: 6 p.m. Monday vs. Oak Park-River Forest

What to watch:

The Addison Trail lineup may not be filled with seniors, but the Blazers have plenty of returning experience.

AT won its fourth regional in five years last season and lost just two major contributors from that team. Sophomore Alex Dickmann, who played for the USA Volleyball Junior National Team over the summer, racked up 255 kills last season and is expected to be a force again this spring.

Junior setter Kevin Grygo also returns after starting last season. Both Grygo and Dickmann are 6-foot-3, which will give the Blazers a strong block.

Senior outside hitter Matt Hernet was also a big part of last year's success. Senior middle hitter Pat Adamczyk and junior libero Marko Parisi also were regular contributors.

Coach Tom Hubner was confident in his team's hitting ability. He said the keys would be in defense and passing.

"We'll see how well they can jell," Hubner said. "We definitely got some kids who can play. It's a matter of how we start jelling together."

Willowbrook
Coach:
Ryan Bazon2012 record: 26-11Top players: Kyle Dewyer sr. S Zac Prosek sr. MH Jessie Yao sr. MHFirst match: 6 p.m. Monday vs. Larkin

What to watch:

The Warriors graduated five seniors from last year's team that shared the West Suburban Gold title, but return nine players from that team.

Setter Kyle Dewyer will have a pair of returning weapons at middle hitter in Zac Prosek and Jessie Yao.

"We do have some guys that are going to need to get some varsity experience, but I think we have a nice set of returning players," said coach Ryan Bazon.

Bazon named Downers Grove South and Hinsdale South as the top competition in conference. With a senior-heavy roster, Willowbrook has 12 seniors on its 14-man roster, the Warriors hope to be in the mix again.

"A lot of these guys are playing club volleyball and they get to play year round together," Bazon said. "I think there's a lot of cohesiveness on the court. There's a good understanding between them."

Montini
Coach:
Steve DowjotasFirst match: 5 p.m. Thursday vs. De La Salle

What to watch:

Montini alum Steve Dowjotas enters his third year as the coach of Broncos. Last year the Broncos were the No. 24 seed in the Wheaton Warrenville South sectional and lost in a regional quarter to St. Francis.

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