WW South rallies to knock off Naperville North

SHARE WW South rallies to knock off Naperville North

Naperville North is the reigning DuPage Valley Conference champion but Wheaton Warrenville South was king of the comeback on Tuesday.

The host Tigers shook off late deficits in both sets and rallied for a 25-21, 25-23 victory in Wheaton. It was the first meeting between the two sides since Naperville North ended the Tigers’ four-year run of DVC titles last season.

“They were really exciting,” WW South outside hitter Jared Wilcox said of the rallies. “I think it was just because it was our first home DVC game, we had a lot of nerves at the beginning of each game. But we were able to pull it together as a team towards the end.”

Naperville North (8-6, 2-1) led by as many as four points in the opening set and was up 21-19 when WW South called timeout.

The Tigers (8-6, 2-1) proceeded to score the next six points, the first three and the last of which came on kills by Wilcox, who spiked nine of his 15 kills in the set.

“Wilcox kind of stole the show at the end,” Naperville North coach Nate Bornancin said. “I think we did a nice job slowing down [Zack Meyer] but Wilcox really hurt us.

“That’s a case of a senior just taking advantage of the situation. I think he stepped up huge at the end and was able to put a ball away when they needed it.”

The 6-6 Wilcox, a McKendree recruit, is the Tigers’ best weapon, one they are still developing. He worked with setter Ben Carpio in finding openings to attack from a variety of angles.

“We wanted to make sure we could get Jared moving around a little bit more,” WW South coach Bill Schreier said. “He was a lot more active tonight, not just going out to the left side of the court and swinging.

“We’re getting him involved in the middle of the court. We’re getting him involved on the right side of the court, which makes it a little bit harder for teams to prepare for him and he’s a very dynamic hitter.”

Wilcox and Meyer, a 6-4 junior, were a dynamic duo, combing for 27 of the Tigers’ 31 kills. Meyer was held in check in the first set but erupted for eight of his 12 kills in the nightcap.

“Zack and I are both pins,” Wilcox said. “We try to work off each other and work together and it really works out well.

“I think our team played well overall, so if some of the balls come to me, that’s fine, but I think we played really good overall as a team.”

The Tigers needed to as the found themselves trailing 17-12 in the second game. Wilcox responded by spiking back-to-back kills and Carpio followed with an ace to stem the bleeding, but Kent Lang’s block of Wilcox gave the Huskies a 23-21 lead.

The Tigers then scored the last four points on kills from Meyer and Wilcox, a block by Jerry Loar and a Huskie error.

Carpio had 26 assists for the Tigers, while his Naperville North counterpart, Jack Rothmund, impressively spread his 15 assists among five different players. But the Huskies lacked a dominant weapon like Wilcox.

“I would have liked us to have more energy,” Bornancin said. “We consider them one of our rivals and I felt like it was kind of flat throughout the match.

You just expect your guys to get fired up for a match like this and the intensity wasn’t really there for us today and that’s something that is going to have to change.”

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