Benet digs up victory against Waubonsie Valley
When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging, right?
Benet was down by as many as 8 points in the first game against visiting Waubonsie Valley on Wednesday, but libero Tommy Kmieciak kept digging balls up and kept the Redwings in the game.
Kmieciak led all players with 16 digs, while outside hitters John Folts and Kazi Bagdady combined for 19 kills as Benet staved off a set point and pulled out a 26-24, 25-23 victory in Lisle.
"I was going nuts when (Kmieciak) had some of those (digs)," Bagdady said. "I don't know how he gets some of these balls up.
"It was huge for us. He is always an integral part of the team."
That was never more apparent than after the Redwings (14-6) fell behind 14-6 in Game 1. A Waubonsie Valley serving error gave the serve to Kmieciak, who reeled off the next 5 points as Bagdady had 2 of his 7 kills and Jack Andringa 1 of his 4, beginning a 13-4 run.
"The team just started to clean up their play," Benet coach Jeff Steinberg said. "We were making a lot of errors in the beginning.
"They took a deep breath and they just started to play consistent volleyball that we've been working on and we got rolling."
But Levi Jordan's kill gave the Warriors (6-11) a set point at 24-23 before Bagdady sandwiched 2 kills around a Waubonsie error to lift the Redwings to victory. The second was an emphatic strike down the left side.
"I was just going nuts," Bagdady said. "I was so happy for the team.
"It was real cool to be able to go out on a high note like that. And it was great that we were able to come back and finish it in two."
The second set was nearly as tight as the first, though this time it was Waubonsie that did the rallying. The Warriors pulled within 23-22 on an ace by setter Jack Genzer.
But Folts, who had a match-high 12 kills, answered with a kill and a Waubonsie error ended it.
How did the Redwings rally from such a deep deficit?
"Every point we kind of have the same mentality and the same energy," Bagdady said. "That's what we've been working on during these past few games, is keeping the energy up every point. That's what we tried to do tonight."
Energy was in short supply for the Warriors, who were coming off an exhausting three-set match Tuesday at Glenbard North.
"I knew we had to play with a lot more energy," Waubonsie Valley coach Noel Soto said. "The guys gave me everything they had. I couldn't ask for anything more, especially (considering) we got home last night at 9:30."
Matt Canty paced the Warriors with 8 kills, while Jordan had 6 and Genzer dished 20 assists. Setter Hunter Michniak had 22 assists for the Redwings.
Article link: http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/20170419/benet-digs-up-victory-against-waubonsie-valley