By Marty Farmer
The Oak Park and River Forest boys volleyball team went down in the quarterfinals of the IHSA Volleyball State Tournament but not without a good fight.
St. Charles North outlasted the Huskies 25-22, 24-26, 27-25 in a taut quarterfinals match at Hoffman Estates last week. After dropping the opening set, the Huskies took control early in the second with a 14-7 lead. The North Stars stormed back to take a 23-22 advantage, but clutch kills from Sam Rolfes and Ryan Ebersole secured the Set 2 win for the Huskies.
The North Stars converted their third match point to finally eliminate OPRF in the third set.
Rolfes (16 kills) and Ebersole (15 kills) paced the OPRF offensive attack. Jared Bernard also played well at the net with 13 kills, while Levi Algozino dished out 43 assists. Ben Miller led defensively with 18 digs.
In sectional competition, OPRF cruised past host St. Rita 25-17, 25-16 as Ebersole (eight kills) and John Martin (six kills) set an aggressive tone early against the Mustangs. Elliot Mertz chipped in five kills, while Bernard and Rolfes tallied four and three kills, respectively. OPRF dominated the action up front, putting down 26 kills for the match.
The state quarterfinals loss to St. Charles North culminated an impressive postseason run by the Huskies, who finished 20-19 on the season.