After winning its first six matches this season, the Oak Park and River Forest High School boys volleyball team suffered its first defeat April 11, falling at Lyons Township in three sets.
“We didn’t play our best,” said OPRF senior hitter and captain Peter Zurawski.
But good teams bounce back, and that was the case April 12 as the Huskies got back into the win column with a 25-14, 25-21 victory over visiting Riverside-Brookfield High School.
“I told the guys that [RB] is a good team and that when we came out, we needed to hit the ground running and make a statement,” said OPRF coach Justin Cousin. “We watched the [LT] film and came in more focused and ready to execute.”
After trailing 7-5 in the opening set, OPRF (7-1) scored the next 12 points to take control. Zurawski had three of his team-high six kills during the run, set up by assists from junior setter Quinn Borzarth.
“Quinn’s been running the court really good,” said Zurawski, a Ball State University signee who also had four blocks. “Coming into the setter position as a junior is really hard, but he’s wonderful.”
Borzarth, who had 17 assists and four blocks, played as a right outside hitter last year. But he’s been able to smoothly make the adjustment to setter and establish good chemistry with Zurawski.
“I’ve been doing setting during club season, so it’s easy for me to carry over into high school,” he said. “With Peter playing outside, that also makes it easier; I just give it to him and he does all the work.”
The Huskies also received contributions from junior Daniel McNeilly (five kills), senior Ralph Bennet (three kills, four blocks) and senior libero Daniel Moran (12 digs).
“To come out strong tonight and recoup ourselves, get some of the bench in, and get refreshed will set us up right for the future,” Zurawski said. “We have a new attitude for the rest of the season.”
OPRF struggled to put away RBHS (10-6) in the second set, which is something Cousin will stress with the team going forward.
“We need to work on our confidence and improve our communication,” he said. “Also, we just need to execute better.”
Borzarth agreed that the Huskies need to clean some things up. But he also likes the team’s potential.
“Plays we make mistakes on, we need to clean those up if we want to go to state,” he said. “I think we can make a good run to downstate if we do.”