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Winless weekend comes at bad time for Mustang volleyball

BERWYN – Morton volleyball had been progressing as a team, but it may have been hard to tell at this weekend’s Benet tournament.

The Mustangs entered with a 10-6 record and had a quality win over Oak Park-River Forest on their resume, but they went winless at Benet against top opposition.

“It’s not good because it’s right before the seeding, which is May 1, so it’s kind of bad timing for us,” Morton coach Tony Hornilla said.

Junior Andrew Franco earned all-tournament at Benet to highlight Morton’s weekend.

The win over OPRF on April 11 will carry weight when seeds are determined. Morton is in the St. Rita sectional with mostly Chicago schools and a handful of other suburban schools. Hornilla mentioned Rita, OPRF and Mt. Carmel as some of the top teams in the sectional.

Morton will need to play better than it did this weekend to make a postseason run similar to last year when they were the No. 7 seed in the sectional and won a regional title.

“We definitely have gotten better,” Hornilla said. “It’s just we’re not where we need to be.”

The Mustangs haven’t been at full strength in recent weeks with players missing time, so it has been an uphill battle.

“We really need to come together more and really play more as a team,” Hornilla said. “We still have some time to bring it together.”

Earlier in the season, Morton won a tournament at Thornton Fractional North and placed second at another at Marian Catholic. The elite competition at Benet proved too difficult to overcome.

Hornilla is hoping to get the team playing well by the playoffs despite the limitations of his lineup.

“We’ve got a few kids that play year round, not too many,” he said. “We’re short. We don’t have any giant kids. Our lineup is very short compared to most schools.”

That’s not to say the Mustangs can’t compete in the conference. Morton entered Tuesday’s match against Willowbrook with a 2-1 record in the West Suburban Gold.

Hornilla thinks his team has as good of a shot as anyone in the Gold.

“Who knows, in our conference it seems that anyone can take it,” he said. “It could be a toss-up.”

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