The Fenwick High School boys volleyball team entered this season feeling optimistic, given that a strong senior class was leading the way. But injuries have resulted in a struggle for the Friars, who dropped their home finale May 11 to St. Laurence 17-25, 15-25.

“We got into a rut with our serve-receive and [St. Laurence] started out on a run,” said Fenwick coach Katie Whitman. “We were able to patch things up, but we just dug ourselves too much of a hole.”

St. Laurence scored the first six points of each set, which made it difficult for the Friars. Aidan Butler led Fenwick (8-13) with nine digs and four assists. Will Griswold, Brian Riggs, and Dario Santoy each had three kills, and Charlie DiFranco had two aces.

“They kept fighting,” Whitman said. “It’s now a matter of getting more consistent. We’re capable of playing well and we’ve done it in glimpses, but they need to maintain that high level for an entire game.”

The Friars have been without the services of senior Caleb Groll since April. The Lindenwood University signee is out for the season with a stress fracture in his tibia.

“Caleb is definitely a loss,” Whitman said. “He’s a Division I player and one of the best in the state. We’ve been struggling to adjust with the new lineup, and we’ve also had other guys missing for various things. Hopefully, we can start to get consistent with our lineup as we head into the playoffs.”

Fenwick is the sixth seed in the IHSA Oak Park and River Forest Sectional. The Friars face Wolcott in a regional quarterfinal May 22 at St. Patrick.

“Whatever the score is and no matter if it’s a win or a loss heading into the playoffs, we need to focus on learning from our mistakes and getting better,” Whitman said.

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