St. Francis senior Jeff Jendryk made a lot of great plays Monday.
None was more dramatic than the kill he made to open the second set against host Geneva.
The 6-8 Loyola recruit took a set from Robert Smith and spiked it so hard off the shoulder of a Geneva player that the ball came within three feet of touching the ceiling.
That play was emblematic of how the nonconference match went as St. Francis rolled to a 25-14, 25-13 victory to give coach Mike Lynch his 400th career win.
Jendryk finished with 10 kills, seven blocks and 12 service points and was asked whether the thunderous spike was the biggest he’s ever had.
‘Yes, that was the biggest for a high school game,” Jendryk said. “Before [it] we weren’t really intense, but with that hit it just brought us all up and we were pumped then.”
The opening set was tied 10-10 when the Spartans (2-0) used a 15-4 run to put it away, with Jendryk getting four kills and Joe Denny two. St. Francis was never in trouble as the Vikings (4-5) recorded just one kill in the game.
The Spartans, who hadn’t played in nearly two weeks, couldn’t wait to get started and were the aggressors from the outset.
“They’ve been practicing as long as we have, but it was only their second match,” Geneva coach K.C. Johnsen said. “They were ready to take it out on somebody and it happened to be us.”
The second set was more lopsided than the first. Jendryk served four straight points to give the Spartans a 10-4 lead. The Vikings pulled within 13-10 on a kill by senior Chris Parrilli, but St. Francis responded with an 11-3 spurt, capped by five straight jump serves from Jendryk — who was outstanding in all aspects.
“He’s going to Loyola next year and he deserves it,” St. Francis coach Mike Lynch said. “He’s the most powerful hitter we’ve ever had at St. Francis, but he commands a lot of attention, which opens up a lot of opportunities for us.
“Him and Robert Smith, the setter, they’ve worked together now three years and they’re really getting their timing down. We have a lot more options now.”
With teams sometimes throwing a triple block at Jendryk, other Spartans took advantage. Denny and senior Dan Zurawski, a first-year volleyball player who played baseball his first three years, each pounded five kills, while Greg Churney had three and Smith and Patrick Shearer had two each.
The Spartans combined for 28 kills, while Geneva had only six, five of which came from Parrilli. Smith dished 23 assists and junior libero Jonathan Messa, the only non-senior on the roster, led the defense with eight digs.
“We did everything really well,” Jendryk said. “I’m very impressed with what we did and hopefully our next game can be just as good.”
Johnsen, whose team has only three seniors, hopes the next game can be a lot better for the Vikings.
“We’re still too inconsistent,” Johnsen said. “That’s our big obstacle. I don’t know whether we’ll get over it soon enough to suit me or not, but we’re going to try.
“We have two practices and eight matches this week. For an inexperienced team that’s a bad combo, but maybe it will turn out good if we get all that game experience.”