Dillawar Chaudhry, freshman, bumps the ball to set up an attack.

Boys Volleyball Takes on Niles North in Crosstown Rivalry Game

Apr 18, 2023

Niles West’s boys volleyball team lost to rivals Niles North in the Skokie Skirmish on Friday, April, 14, by a score of 2-1.

Head coach Drew Roche had high hopes for the game, hoping that the team would find success in the game despite their slow start to the season.

“I expect a W, for sure. I just expect them to continue to play the way they have been lately and to control the things they can control and when they do that, they are a really good team,” Roche said.

Despite the loss, both teams were evenly matched. West had many strong rallies that showed their strengths, at the same time, poor communication at points showed the weaknesses of the young team.

In the first set, the game stayed close in score with one team only having a lead of three points at most. At the beginning of the game, there was a long rally with numerous good hits and ended with West winning the point after a perfectly placed ball from junior, Scooter Arthur. In the first half of the set, West maintained the lead before North tied the score 16-16. In the second half of the set, West was not ready for a serve, they scrambled and it ended up costing them the lead. This killed any momentum that West had built in the set and North pulled away to win the first game 25-20.

North began set two right where they left off and got the first point. This start for North was quickly cut short by the Wolves, who took the lead 5-1, and took control as they had in the first set. Still, signs of weakness showed with some bad hits and plays resulting in points for North. Still, the teams were evenly matched and it was a back-and-forth game. The score was still close with one team having a one-point lead for the majority of the set. Towards the middle of the match, there was a series of good rallies for West to give them a five-point lead to make the score 16-11, and their lead eventually went up by seven points. Communication was a downside for West throughout the match and the game quickly became 21-19, still, they were able to prevail and win the second set, bringing the game to a three-set tiebreaker.

Although West didn’t have a big crowd, there was still excitement from both teams’ spectators.

“It’s really really intense, they’re super close every single point. Me and my friends are all dying because it goes back and forth, back and forth but we’re playing good, it’s just a hard game,” junior, Summer de la Cruz said.

In the third set, North began with momentum. West was able to regain the lead again after winning a collection of points to making the score 9-8, although North tied again in the next volley. A clutch block from a North player gave them the lead again. There were also some times when miscommunications hurt North as well, costing them points. There were multiple rallies across the game where tensions were high and the energy in the room was tense, most of which ended in West’s favor thanks to great hits and placements from our players. The energy reached an all-time high as the game was tied 22-22, but North was able to take the point to break the tie and gave North all the momentum and sealed the deal for North to take the trophy at the end of this game.

Despite the loss, players are looking to improve for the rest of the season.

“I’m still upset with the outcome because no one likes losing a close game, but I know we can learn and improve from this game and [I’m] excited to see where we go from here,” senior, David Ardelean said.

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