BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Results same, but attitude different for Marian boys volleyball

2014-03-25T18:00:00Z 2014-03-26T00:05:09Z Results same, but attitude different for Marian boys volleyballPhil Arvia Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 25, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO HEIGHTS | If you're counting, with Tuesday's season-opening, 26-24, 15-25, 20-25 loss to Shepard, that's 18 in a row for Marian Catholic's boys volleyball team.

The Spartans, however, clearly are not.

If they were viewing this season as an extension of their 1-32 2013 campaign, libero Liam Fagan wouldn't have bothered to dive and slide, head first, into the scorer's table trying to track down what was Shepard's 24th point of the third set.

"It didn't hurt too bad," Fagan said of moving the table back about a foot with his noggin.

It would have hurt worse not to go all out.

"I felt like if I just let it go, it would have been demoralizing for everybody," he said.

There was enough of that in 2013.

"Everybody, by the end of the season, started looking at it as a joke," Fagan said. "Even I did.

"We decided we weren't going to let that happen this year. We got together at a practice and said we just didn't want to be embarrassed again."

Tuesday represented a step in the right direction. The Spartans went three sets with Shepard, something they did in only one of their 32 losses last season. They came back, with Sean McGlone serving the final five points, from a 24-21 deficit to capture the first set, and they tied in the teens in both of the other sets.

Sophomore setter Zak Piekarski had 15 assists, 11 digs and five service points, Fagan 13 digs and six service points, McGlone six service points and 11 digs, and Jackson Russell six kills for Marian.

All told, eight Marian players had at least one kill or ace block on the evening.

"This is the best team energy we've had since I've been here," said fourth-year Spartans coach Bob Piekarski, Zak's father. "Things got a little flip last year.

"In other years, at practices and things, I'd have to fire them up. That's not the case this year. They've come in with a different kind of mental toughness and attitude. The maturing of some of the players is probably the biggest thing — maturing as players and as people."

The Spartans' roster is made up of six seniors, a junior and four sophomores. Six of those players, including sophomores Piekarski, Cameron Green, Alan Kickert and Temitope Onayemi, stand at least 6-foot-2.

"We've got a lot more height than we've had in the past," Bob Piekarski said. "Zak grew four inches last year. Alan grew two inches.

"When we start getting some ball control — passing is kind of our weakness right now — we'll do a lot better."

How much better remains to be seen. The Spartans have just two winning seasons in their program's 16 years, the last coming in 2005, and the best mark in Piekarski's tenure was his 15-17 first season.

"I'm hoping we get to 10 or 12 wins," Piekarski said. "If we could do that, in our conference, with our schedule, that would be fantastic."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News