Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Volleyball Story

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Volleyball Story

Article excerpt

CREVE COEUR * The Affton boys volleyball team didn't wilt under the pressure.

The Cougars carried an undefeated record in to a hostile Parkway North gym Friday. They were playing a conference rival and a win would give the Cougars the Suburban XII championship.

And the hosts were giving Affton everything it could handle, leading for most of the second set. But the Cougars broke it open with a late run to escape with a 25-23, 25-22 victory.

Affton, No. 1 in the STLhighschoolsports small school rankings, improved to 24-0-1 overall and 8-0 in the Suburban XII Conference.

"I wanted more competition as the season went on, because I feel like if you just go on in the season and not play anybody, then you get into the playoffs and the teams are getting much better," Affton setter J.L. Harman said. "This is one, a great win for us, and two, a great game. I wanted a challenge before the end of the season."

No. 4 Parkway North (16-13, 6-2) certainly provided a challenge.

A pair of kills by Eric Bals helped the Vikings jump out to a 3- 0 lead in the second set. Another Bals kill made it 11-7.

A Justin Talley kill and ace sparked a 5-1 run that allowed the Cougars to pull even at 12-12.

Afton finally grabbed the lead for good on a Chris Brendel kill that made it 16-15. Parkway North then committed four consecutive hitting errors and Jack Stark added another kill to make it 21-15 for Affton.

"It just comes down to having experienced players," Parkway North coach Joel May said. "They've got some real experienced guys. They're not going to make those mistakes. They're not going to hit those balls out, they're going to hit those seams really well and if they don't have the set, they're going to do something smart. My guys just kind of go out there swinging, which is good. We've got some things to learn. We've only got one club player and I think they have three to five. It just comes down to experience."

A pair of Andrew Hummert kills helped pull North back to within 24-22, but Brendel ended the match for Affton with his fifth kill of the set. …

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