The OPRF volleyball team will return to the IHSA State Finals on Friday to face a team with the same mascot, the Naperville North Huskies.

The Huskies (27-12) of Oak Park downed St. Ignatius in two sets on Tuesday night 25-17, 25-23 to win the sectional championship and advance to the tournament to be held at Hoffman Estates High School. OPRF was led by senior Ben Wilks, who finished with nine kills. Wilks leads the team in kills this season with 222. Owen Brady added five kills, while Jim Kasang and Will Kemper chipped in four apiece.

Setup man Diego Rodriguez-Guerrios dished out 28 assists. The junior has surpassed 800 assists on the season. Mike Fredrick anchored the defense with 11 digs.

Naperville North enters the tournament with a 22-7 overall record. The Huskies are led by 6-foot-4 senior Henry Cheatham, who accumulated 247 kills during the regular season. 

OPRF last advanced to the state tournament in 2008, when they fell to Buffalo Grove in the first round. The Huskies take on Naperville North on Friday at 1 p.m. A win would pit them against either Edwardsville or Vernon Hills in the semifinals on Saturday at 10 a.m. The other four teams vying for the title are St. Rita, Glenbard West, New Trier and Sandburg.  

The state championship is scheduled for Saturday at 5:15 p.m.

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Brad Spencer

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...