Back-to-back state tournament appearances won’t be in the cards for the OPRF volleyball team this season. The Huskies were edged out of the playoffs by familiar foe St. Patrick last week in a hard-fought 26-24, 25-22 loss in the St. Ignatius College Prep Sectional Championship.

The Huskies, who earlier in the season had defeated St. Patrick in three games, held a tenuous 18-15 lead during Game 1. But the Shamrocks (29-5), riding the wave of an 18-game win-streak, soon rallied with five-straight points. OPRF managed to notch the game at 24 before St. Patrick snagged the remaining two points.

Led by Mark Brady, Ben Keller and Tim Schmidt, the Huskies kept up the pressure by taking a 20-19 lead late in the second game. But a kill and a block by St. Ignatius’ Ryan Fischer sealed OPRF’s fate.

Brady led the Huskies with 12 kills, while middle hitter Ben Keller added 10. Setter Tim Schmidt finished with 25 assists.

OPRF closes out the season with an overall record of 27-12. The Huskies, who made it to the state tournament last season with a record of 17-22, finished second this year in the West Suburban (Silver) Conference with a mark of 5-1.

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Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...