New Trier did something Saturday it had never done in the brief history of the Tiger Classic at Wheaton Warrenville South.
The Trevians won it.
Henry Lindstrom had 11 kills and two blocks, Peter Hindsley had seven kills, tournament MVP Dante Chakravorti distributed 24 assists and added four kills, and Brian Hammes collected 14 digs as New Trier defeated WW South, 25-17, 25-19, in the championship match.
“This is pretty historic,” Chakravorti said. “We’ve had some really good teams and really good players in the past like Peter’s older brother (Chaz) and (Eric) Kerr. So for us to come together and do this was pretty big for the program.”
Ball control was a big story for New Trier (7-0), which scored the first eight points of the first set against WW South.
“We actually start every practice with serve-receive,” Hammes said. “A lot of guys have their last period free, so we go to the gym and do serve-pass for at least 20, 30 minutes to get our serve-receive down.
“We know that we have a great setter and great hitters. We know it starts with a pass. We know passing is the key to our offense.”
Although the Tigers (5-1) put together a 7-0 run with Zack Meyer at the service line late in the first set after falling behind 23-10, the early deficit was too big to overcome.
“I think we ran out of gas,” WW South coach Bill Schreier said. “When you have an emotional match against a conference opponent (Naperville Central) in the quarterfinals, and a very emotional match and come back and take that Sandburg match in the semifinals, I don’t know how many times you can go to that well.
“(New Trier) got a lot of balls back up that were falling against Sandburg and against Naperville Central. That was probably that separation. When you don’t have that gas in the tank, it’s going to be hard. And when you dig yourself that big of a hole in the first set, you’re not going to come back very often.”
WW South hung with New Trier for the first 20 points of the second set, but the Trevians used an 8-4 run to put some distance between themselves and the Tigers. The lead grew to 23-16 after Lindstrom finished a long rally with a cross-court kill.
A dump by Chakravorti ended the match and New Trier’s championship drought.
“We’re not short, but we’ve had really tall teams the last couple of years,” New Trier coach Sue Ellen Haak said. “This year, we’ve taken over the ball control side of the game, which I think has helped us. We make fewer mistakes.
“Our offense is fast enough that they can score at the net even against bigger guys. We return a lot of experience. I feel like there’s a confidence level which is higher than most years. It’s a good group all the way around.”
John Hildebrand led WW South with seven kills, Meyer added four kills and Ben Carpio had 15 assists.
Buffalo Grove (8-3), which lost to New Trier, 25-20, 25-21, in the semifinals, defeated Sandburg (7-3), 25-20, 27-29, 25-18, for third place, and Brother Rice (6-5) defeated Marist (7-5), 25-16, 25-20, in the fifth-place match.
Naperville Central (9-2) bounced back from back-to-back losses to WW South (23-25, 25-18, 25-22) and Brother Rice (29-27, 21-25, 25-19) to defeat Lincoln-Way East (5-5), 25-14, 25-22, for seventh place.
Barrington (10-1), which was upset by Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) in pool play Thursday, defeated DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.), 27-25, 25-20, to win the Silver division. Adam Glader led Barrington with six kills, Justin Glader had four kills and Noah Ricchetti had 20 assists and three blocks.
“I thought that we were just kind of emotionally flat Thursday,” Barrington coach Rob Ridenour said. “I thought a couple of guys, (6-4 junior) Joe Roeckell and (libero) James Tiao, came in and did a really nice job of picking us up. We were in kind of a malaise and both those guys did a nice job for us.”
Moeller defeated Waubonsie Valley, 12-25, 25-17, 25-16, to win the Bronze division.