After losing one of its best players to injury before the match, Lakes (16-20) rallied from 16-9 and 22-18 down in Game 1 and then finished off host Antioch 25-23, 25-21 on Monday in the quarterfinals of the Antioch Regional. The Eagles will play Zion-Benton in Tuesday’s semifinals. Lakes’ Richard Galat broke a finger at a morning practice and won’t play anymore this season. Antioch won four matches this year.
THE TURNING POINT
Antioch jumped out to a 7-1 lead in Game 1 behind the service game of Evan Cielek. The Sequoits led 15-7 and 19-13 as the Eagles struggled to find their rhythm offensively. With Nick Battaglia serving for Lakes, Antioch committed four errors in five points to allow the Eagles to pull within 19-18. After a three-point run that made it 22-18 Antioch, the Eagles scored six points in a row on three aces by Colton Jewell, a block and a kill by Avery Brode, and an Antioch error. Jewell ended his service run hitting the ball into the net, but Brode’s kill gave Lakes the 25-23 win. Antioch led most of the way to 14-13 in Game 2. After Lakes took a 17-15 lead, the Sequoits scored four straight points to go up 19-17. The Eagles then went on a 7-0 run in which Jewell recorded four more aces. Jewell again ended his run serving the ball into the net, and Antioch scored one more time before a Nick Halberg kill put the match away for good with a 25-21 Game 2 win.
Lakes’ Jewell served seven aces in the match and had key serving runs at the end of both games to assure that the Eagles will live to play another day.
BY THE NUMBERS
For Lakes, Dalton Solbrig had nine kills and seven digs, Jewell added eight assists, Avery Brodde had five kills and three blocks, and Nick Halberg had five kills and six digs.
“We had our best outside hitter out because he broke his finger this morning. That was definitely an obstacle we had to overcome. Definitely, Colton [Jewell] stepped up, and Avery [Brode]. I didn’t really do anything different. The other guys decided to step up because Richard was gone. I was really proud of them.” — Lakes’ Solbrig
“It feels great to beat Antioch. It’s a great rivalry. I love beating Antioch in whatever sport I”m playing.” — Jewell
“We’re a construction zone right now. Like I told the boys, you don’t always see the progress, and then all of a sudden it kind of happens. I think we’re still under construction, and will be for a little bit. Our seniors laid a positive foundation. We don’t have any juniors, but I’m hoping our sophomores and freshmen will be able to build on that.” — Antioch coach Jamie Atkinson
“I couldn’t ask for anything more from the guys. The team we had on the floor could potentially be our team next year, so we got the chance to see who was going to step up. They usually rely on Richard so much, but the younger kids really stepped up and went for it. Colton had seven aces, and Nick Halberg played some great defense.” — Lakes coach Katie Cheek