Thor-Larsen, Gibson, and Fieseler headline volleyball’s solid start

Steven Baer, Staff Reporter

The Bulldog boys’ volleyball team has certainly kept busy over the past few weeks, as they have played in total of 16 games, and have put up an 11-5 record over the opening stretch. In the Bulldogs’ first game they took on a historically very tough Morton team. The Dogs took the match in two sets, 28-26, in the first, and 25-23 in the second.  Tim Thor-Larsen had a nice game as he recorded eight kills and had three  blocks. Jack Gibson also got into the mix by collecting five kills, an ace, and six digs, as he helped guide the team to a opening day victory.

After the big win against the Mustangs, the Bulldogs participated in the Joliet West Tournament. The Dogs fell short in their opening round game, losing in two sets. However immediately after that,they bounced back in a big way as they took down Lemont in consecutive sets, with scores of 25-17, and 25-16. The win wrapped up the tournament’s pool play and sent the Bulldogs into the playoffs of the tournament.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Dogs went up against St. Ignatius. The Bulldogs had smooth sailing in the first game as they won easily. The Bulldogs may have been lulled to sleep by the Wolf Pack, due to their easy first set win, because in the second game St. Ignatius fired back with a compelling second set win which sent the match into a third and final set. In the final set, however, the Bulldogs were completely focused and finished the Wolf Pack off to advance to the semi-finals. Danny Nava was a fantastic facilitator as he distributed 17 assists, leading the Bulldogs to victory.

In the semi- finals the Dogs met Joliet Catholic and defeated them in consecutive sets, winning both sets by scores of 25-23. The narrow wins sent the Bulldogs into the championship game against a very tough Matea Valley squad.

After a long day, the Bulldogs’ five previous games finally seemed to take their physical toll on them, as the Bulldogs fell to Matea Valley in consecutive sets, 25-18, and 25-20. Jake Fieseler and Jack Gibson had eight digs in the losing effort. The loss certainly was not the result the Bulldogs were looking for, but it was definitely a very solid stepping stone for the rest of the season.

After the success that was the Joliet West tournament, the Dogs opened up their conference play by defeating Illiana in two sets, 25-14 and 25-17. The Bulldogs were led by Tim Thor- Larsen, who had six kills and a block en route to the Dogs’ first conference win.

Preceding the Bulldogs’ latest invite they knocked off both, St. Patrick and Leyden in two sets a piece. After the two impressive wins the Bulldogs were ready for their second tournament of the year.

In the first round of the tournament the Bulldogs knocked off Rolling Meadows with ease in a mere two sets. After that, however, the Bulldogs got a really difficult test from a very talented Addison Trail squad. It was a thrilling match all the way up to the third set, where RB took the set and the match with there 15-10 victory. Thor-Larsen was again a huge factor as acquired nine kills. Also chipping in were Fieseler and Scottie Lebeau, who both had terrific defensive efforts, digging nine balls each. The win advanced the Dogs into the quarterfinals against Maine West.

The Bulldogs had but another thriller against Maine West. The match was tied at a set a piece going in the third and final set, yet the Bulldogs found a way to prevail taking the third set by a score of 15-13, The win helped propel the Bulldogs into the semifinals against St. Viator.

It was again a nail-bitter of a match as the game was notched going into the third and final set.  This time however, the Bulldogs weren’t able to pull off the victory as they fell 25-19. Fieseler had a great game in the valiant effort as he dug up 17 balls in the losing effort.

After the loss, the Bulldogs had little motivation in the 3rd place match, and proceeded to lay a metaphorical egg, as they fell to the host team Rolling Meadows in consecutive sets.

The Bulldogs finished 4th in the Rolling Meadows invite and their overall record now stands at 11-5, and 1-0 record within the conference.