Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Stagg’s boys’ volleyball team had a busy start to its regular season last week, but finished it on the plus side of .500 with four wins in seven matches.

In their quest to keep the Chargers moving forward, head coach Lauren Royer and her assistants are emphasizing a simple principle.
“What we’ve been working on with the guys this entire season is wins are earned and not given,” Royer said. “We’ve talked about how to earn every point, every game and every match.
“We need to work for the win, instead of hoping and wishing for a play failing or the ball to drop. I think the kids are starting to believe in that and work toward that.”
Stagg opened up on Tuesday with a 12-25, 25-22, 25-21 victory over Richards. Tom Matonis and Trevor Crain posted nine and eight kills, respectively, to aid the host Chargers, who picked up their second win two days later by beating St. Rita 25-21, 25-15. Kamil Krzysiak led the way against the Mustangs with seven kills, while Crain was right behind him with seven.
Libero Sean Runyon had 11 digs, Nick Stanek dished out 25assists, and Matonis contributed five kills and four blocks to give Stagg a greater boost. Two of Matonis’ blocks came on consecutive plays in the second set and handed the Chargers a 19-14 lead.

SXU sports summary

Season over for Cougars volleyball team

A first-round victory earned St. Xavier University’s men’s volleyball team a date with top-seeded Cardinal Stritch University in the Great Lakes Conference Tournament.
And that’s where the 2014 season ended for the Cougars, who absorbed a 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 loss against the Wolves last Friday night at Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio. SXU (6-15) had advanced on the strength of a 25-23, 26-28, 25-20, 25-20 triumph over Siena Heights (Mich.) University earlier that same day.
Senior outside hitter Justin Cousin and sophomore middle blocker Sam Kull — the latter of whom was chosen as an all-conference first-teamer prior to the tourney — were the Cougars’ mainstays. Their combined efforts against Siena Heights resulted in 27 kills and eight total blocks, five of which were solos. Cousin augmented his 17 kills and two blocks with a couple of service aces.
Other contributors for SXU included freshmen Sean Barry (13 kills) and Moises Lopez (40 assists, seven digs, three total blocks). The Cougars finished with 52 kills and 21 hitting errors, which produced a team attack percentage of .267.

2014 Baseball Season Preview

  • Written by Ken Karson


2013 Record: 16-14.
Head coach: Bill Gerny.
Assistant coaches: Chris Bohanek, Nick Chigas, Gary Gudino.
• Who’s gone: Bob Kametas, P/3B; Chris Rafacz, OF; Marcin Krzysiak, 1B; Billy Thome, C; Lee Baxa, P.
• Who’s back: Matt Dunne, 3B/P, Sr. (.361; 2.81 ERA); Mitch Swatek, 1B, P, Sr. (2.51 ERA; .382 in summer); Kevin Zurek, 2B, Sr. (.333); Brandon Quillin, SS/P, Jr. (.400 in summer); Matt Witkowski, OF/P, Jr. (1-0, 1.17 ERA in summer); Jake Slusinski, OF, Sr.
• Who’s new: Joe Dodaro, 1B/3B, Jr. (.364, 16 RBI for sophomore team); Ryne Melnik, OF, Jr. (.359, 17 RBI for sophomore team); John Roberts, C, So.; Justin Swatek, INF/OF/P, So.
• Outlook: Bill Gerny enjoyed quite the varsity-coaching debut, as the Spartans rewarded him with a somewhat unexpected South Suburban Conference Red title. Oak Lawn’s 2013 edition could not be classified as a dominant club, but it certainly was a resilient one as it beat back challenges from several teams to claim the top divisional spot.
The Spartans struggled somewhat against their nonconference competition last spring, but instead of lightening the load, Gerny plans to run his squad through an even stiffer gauntlet in 2014, one featuring St. Rita, St. Laurence, Lyons Township, Maine South, Sandburg, Brother Rice, De La Salle and three of the four Lincoln-Way schools among the formidable foes. Clearly, Gerny understands the value of testing Oak Lawn early and often in order to prepare it for another shot at SSC Red supremacy and perhaps some greater postseason success.
He’s placing these hurdles in front of his guys even though the Spartans have some rebuilding to do. It’s not so much quantity as quality that must be replaced — conference Player of the Year Bob Kametas, Oak Lawn’s unquestioned on-field leader a season ago, and all-conference selection Marcin Krzysiak are two major graduation-induced losses. Kametas will be missed both as a pitcher and everyday player, but the Spartans still have the makings of a solid staff in Kametas’ absence.

Softball Season Preview 2014

  • Written by Ken Karson


2013 Record: 16-15.
Head coach: John O’Connor.
• Who’s gone: Sophia Lamb, Megan Beckow, Abby Urchell, Chelsea Christopher, Maggie O’Toole, Michelle Estand, Colleen Burns.
• Who’s back: Carolyn Roberts, OF, Sr.; Jenna Haase, C, Jr.; Bethany Salazar, OF/P, So.; Maddie Vojacek, INF/P, So. Carly Rickert, INF, Jr.; Abby Langevin, INF/C, Jr.; Nicole Larkin, INF, Jr.
• Who’s new: Caroline Andrade, INF, Jr.; Kayla Izzo, OF, Jr.; Maddie Meisl, INF/OF So.
• Outlook: A solid core graduated from last season’s regional-championship squad, but Lady Mustangs coach John O’Connor is confident that enough talent remains on hand to set Evergreen Park up for another charge toward postseason glory. One more regional crown would make it three in the past five years for the Lady Mustangs. Headlining in 2014 will be the quartet of all-area selections Bethany Salazar (.575) and Maddie Vojacek (5-1, 1.80 earned-run average), plus Jenna Haase (.465) and Carolyn Roberts (.415). Of that group, only Roberts will graduate in May.
• Coach’s comments: “We need all of our returning starters to play up to their potential and hope a couple of our new players can fill the holes left by last year’s seniors. We must also stay healthy and get continued improvement from our younger players.
“Our strength should be hitting again and we should be solid with our pitchers. Elevating our defensive play and depth will be a concern.” — O’Connor.


You be the judge

of this court news

(Reprinted from
March 19, 2009)

  TV court shows have become quite the viewing staple over the past several years.
  Night-shift workers, college students, retirees and people who suspect they’ll see some family member achieve 15 minutes of infamy are the individuals most likely to sit down for a daily video visit with Judge Mathis, Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Reinhold or whichever legal mediator happens to occupy that particular half-hour.
  These shows are popular because the folks who watch them learn a little bit about the law and also develop a fresh perspective on how good their own lives really are in comparison to the parade of human flotsam that continually bobs in front of the camera lens.
  Later this month, though, interest in the courtroom antics will probably wane a bit and be replaced by a different sort of court entertainment. When March Madness gets underway, everyone suddenly becomes a basketball junkie for a couple of weeks.