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OP_041218

The Orland Park Prairie 041218

44 | April 12, 2018 |

44 | April 12, 2018 | The orland park prairie Sports opprairie.com BOYS VOLLEYBALL Eagles aim to come out of break reversing losing trend JEFF VORVA, Sports Editor Sandburg’s boys volleyball team has just about done it all. The Eagles have won four Illinois High School state championships and brought home four more top-four trophies. They have won numerous sectional and regional titles. They won 30 or more matches 18 times and won 41 matches in 2000. One thing the Eagles haven’t done, however, is endure a losing season. According to IHSA records, they are 23-for-23 in .500- plus seasons. So the fact that the team entered this week’s action with a 5-8 record might be cause for alarm. But no panic has set in yet with coach Dave Vales and his troops. “If we finished under .500, I would be quite disappointed,” said 6-foot-8 senior Jake Ostema, who is heading to Trinity Christian College in the fall. “But I know we could do better than that. We’ve lost a lot of second sets by two or three points. If we can come back and refine some of those things, we will be looking good. “I really don’t see us losing many more times. We have to get the energy and the momentum up. We can’t come out flat. It’s hard to get on a run when you come out flat.” The Eagles are ending a seven-day break by hosting Marist on Thursday, April 12, Prior to the break, the Eagles were involved in a pair of wild matches in Orland Park. St. Rita came in an knocked the Eagles off 25- Will Marks slams down a kill for Sandburg against Hinsdale South in a three-set win. 17, 13-25, 26-24 on April 3. The match ended with officials calling a point against the Eagles when some in the stands thought the Mustangs hit the ball out of bounds. Vales called it a “bangbang” play that grazed one of his players’ shirt. “The referee made the right call,” he said. “But it was still a hard way to end a match.” Will Marks had 16 kills against Mustangs and 6-foot- 6 junior setter Cameron Petrusevski had 19 assists. That loss gave the Eagles its second three-game losing streak of the season but it was quickly forgotten after a 25-21, 24-26, 25-10 victory over Hinsdale South the next day. The dominance of that third game helped send the Eagles into the week-long break on a good note. “Between the two matches, we watched film - we want to watch more film with the young kids to they can see their mistakes,” Vales said. “It’s one thing to say it but its another to see it in video. I have a couple of kids who have put in hours this past week looking at film to try to improve.” Marks, Ostema and Cort Jensen each had six kills and Ostema added three blocks. Freshman Jeremiah Burden had 12 digs and Petrusevski had 19 assists. The roster features six seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and a freshman. “We’ve had a ton of close losses with a young roster,” Vales said. “We need to get those confidence moments. When you win these sets by two points, you can get on a roll. But when you lose them, you start getting nervous about everything. You get nervous about mistakes. We need to have more successful moments.” Sandburg’s Daniel Gentile (left) and Jeremiah Burden nearly collide but Gentile was able to get the set off in a three-set victory over Hinsdale South on April 4. PHOTOS BY JEFF VORVA/22ND CENTURY MEDIA Sandburg middle hitter Jake Ostema had six kills and three blocks against Hinsdale South in Orland Park.

opprairie.com Sports The orland park prairie | April 12, 2018 | 45 BASEBALL Lockport Sectional loaded with area teams JEFF VORVA, Sports Editor Providence Catholic’s unprecedented baseball title reign ended last year when Sandburg knocked the Celtics off at the Class 4A Homewood-Flossmoor Sectional. The Celtics had a postseason 23-game winning streak snapped. They had won three consecutive state titles, which had never been done before in the history of the Illinois High School Association. If the Celtics want to win another state title in 2018, they have a rough road, which includes many area teams standing in the way. The IHSA announced its assignments and the Celtics plus six other 22nd Century Media teams will duke it out in the 21-team Lockport Sectional. Lockport, Lincoln-Way East,Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way West, Sandburg and Andrew are also in the mix. Providence is the only area team that will lost a regional. Other teams in the sectional are Eisenhower, Marist, Bloom, Marian, Crete-Monee, Homewood- Flossmoor, Thornton, Joliet Central, Joliet West, Thornton Fractional South, Shepard, Stagg, Romeoville and Thornwood. In the April 2 edition of the Prep Baseball Report rankings, six teams from the Lockport Sectional are in the top 25. Lincoln-Way East was ranked sixth, Andrew 13th, Lockport 14th, Sandburg 17th, Providence 22nd and Marist 25th. That means at least two of those teams will not win one of the four regional titles. In Class 3A, Tinley Park is in the 10-team sub-sectional of the Ottawa Sectional. The Titans are joined by Thornton Fractional North, Chicago Agricultural Science, Morgan Park, Hillcrest, Evergreen Park, Illiana Christian, Lemont, Bremen and Oak Forest. Seeds will be announced on May 8. The regionals begin May 21 and the state finals are June 8-9. Sandburg’s baseball team is one of six state-ranked teams in the Lockport Sectional. JEFF VORVA/22ND CENTURY MEDIA SOFTBALL Local squads aiming for postseason success JEFF VORVA, Sports Editor Lincoln-Way East’s softball team dominated regional and sectional action en route to a second-place finish in Illinois High School Association Class 4A state tournament in 2017. East outscored Thornton Fractional South, Minooka, Joliet West and Lockport by a combined score of 26-3. Will the Griffins be able to breeze in the early part of the postseason again? The other teams in the 19- team Joliet West Sectional will have something to say about that. The Griffins will join 22nd Century Media-area teams Lockport, Lincoln- Way Central, Lincoln-Way West and Andrew in that sectional. Others in the tournament are Bolingbrook, Bloom, Crete-Monee, Homewood- Flossmoor, Thornton, Joliet Central, Joliet West, Thornton Fractional South, Minooka, Plainfield Central, Plainfield East, Plainfield South, Romeoville and Thornwood. Sandburg is heading to a 19-team sectional that does not have a host yet. Other teams in that sectional are Morton, Eisenhower, Reavis, Curie, Kelly, Kennedy, Marist, Mother McAuley, Hinsdale South, Proviso West, Hinsdale Central, Lyons, Oak Lawn, Richards, Shepard, Stagg, Riverside- Brookfield and Argo. That might prove to see a tough sectional to get out of for the Eagles as Marist returns a ton of talent from a team that won 25 games and finished fourth in the state in Class 4A in 2017. In Class 3A, Providence Catholic and Tinley Park are in a sub-sectional at the 20- team Ottawa Sectional. Other teams in the subsectional are Coal City, Hillcrest, Joliet Catholic Academy, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Plano and Sandwich. Seeds will be announced on May 8. The regionals begin May 21 and the state finals are June 8-9. RIGHT: Sarah Fuller and Sandburg will head to a sectional that does not have a host. 22ND CENTURY MEDIA FILE PHOTO