Weekly Feature

2014-10-29 / Sports

Bulldogs volleyball sweep Blue Devils, season series


The Kenmore East boys volleyball team had sweeps on their mind for the rivalry match against Kenmore West on Oct. 21.

The Bulldogs won 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 to sweep both the match and the season series against their crosstown rival.

“It’s important for these guys, they are passionate about winning the East vs. West match,” said Kenmore East head coach Kyle Horvatis.

Heading into the match, Horvatis knew that Kenmore West had improved quite a bit in all facets of the game. But the Bulldogs were just too strong on the serving line, which gave the Blue Devils a hard time to get in system.

“Technically wise, we are a better team but when emotions run high, especially in a rivalry match, it can go either way,” Horvatis said. “I think what we did well was serve to spots and serve to their weaknesses. Plus we tried to hit selectively because they have some pretty good blockers.”

A trio of seniors led the Bulldogs offense. Setter Rob Mol was efficient at spreading the ball around, making it tough for Kenmore West at the net.

He even threw in a couple of dumps while he was in the front row, which added another dimension to Kenmore East’s offense.

“His feet are so fast and he can stop on a dime,” Horvatis said. “With our gym, you never know which way the ball will go off the ceiling, and he got to a lot of balls I didn’t think he could. He even set the ball well enough where we could make an attack.”

Mol’s two main hitters were outside hitters Tom Vancuran and Justin Haeick.

Vancuran has been the Bulldogs main go-to player all season. Plus, he’s versatile enough to block in the middle. Once he lands, he then shifts to the outside to hit.

“He’s transitional in that way and that makes a huge impact. It’s so awesome to have someone who can do that,” Horvatis added.

Haeick has learned how to hit while reaching as high as he can for the ball. Sometimes hitters get caught hitting the ball around their ear, instead of high above their head. That little adjustment can make a large difference in the front row.

Vancuran finished with 12 kills while Haeick registered eight. Mol dished out 25 assists in the win.

With a 7-5 record in the Niagara Frontier League and 10-5 overall, Kenmore East earned the ninth seed for the Class B playoffs. They played against No. 8 seed North Tonawanda on Tuesday, but results were not ready at press time.

Both teams earned the same amount of power points during the season, but Kenmore East became the visiting team after losing a coin flip. They split the season series.

“When we beat them on the road, they had a hard time stopping Vancuran,” Horvatis said. “But they also made a lot of errors. We cant expect them to do the same thing, so we have to be sharp.”

email: brandonk@beenews.com

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