Boys Volleyball: Bratt’s 10 kills help Wheaton Warrenville South defeat Geneva 2-0 to open conference play

Wheaton Warrenville South players including Simon Bratt (far left) celebrate a point during a game at Geneva on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

GENEVA — The local residents may have heard some thunder rumble throughout the area on Tuesday evening. Only it wasn’t coming from the clouds.

Instead, the source was most likely coming from a kill from Wheaton Warrenville South sophomore Simon Bratt striking the other side of the court.

Wheaton Warrenville South’s Simon Bratt serves the ball during a game at Geneva on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

Bratt had 10 kills and five service aces on the night to help Wheaton Warrenville South defeat Geneva 2-0 (25-19, 25-15) to open DuKane Conference play.

The sophomore had a hand in almost every play throughout the two sets. Despite the plays at the front of the court being the highlights, Bratt felt that his best plays happened in the back row.

“We have a lot of great people in the back row, and I’m blessed to have that,” Bratt said. “But I think that in this game, my back row defense was especially on point. As my libero (Joseph Kohley) says, ‘It’s all about the effort.’ So I was constantly putting in the effort to make sure the ball didn’t hit the ground.

After taking a week off of playing due to spring break, WW South coach Bill Schreier said he could tell his players had accumulated a little rust during the time off. His players, even Bratt, noticed too.

“I felt like I was little rough around the edges tonight,” Bratt said. “I think that goes without saying, and for the rest of the team as well.”

The week-long break seemed to affect the play of both WW South and Geneva throughout the first set, as neither team went on a run of more than three points the entire set. However, the Tigers found themselves on these runs more often thanks to some stellar defense in both the front and back of the court.

“Though we’re not a tall team, we’ll get balls back up and put pressure on the opponent,” Schreier said. “And I thought we did that tonight.”

The Tigers started to get back into the groove by the time the second set rolled in, with the team going on four separate runs in which they scored four or more points. This was in large part due to the Tigers, specifically senior setter Joseph Kelly, spreading the ball around at the net.

Wheaton Warrenville South’s Joseph Kelly sets the ball during a game at Geneva on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

Besides Bratt’s 10 kills, seniors Quinn Harty and Trevor Paige each recorded six kills, while senior Brian Dickinson and junior Mergen Purevsuren each had four.

“Something that we pride ourselves on is our ability to go ahead and actually transition to try and get momentum going, and I thought we did that, especially in the second set,” Schreier said. “I thought that in the first set, we didn’t do a good job of taking care of things, and that’s what I told them between sets, is that we needed to take care of business on our side and get back to the fundamentals and get the defense to get some balls up.”

Geneva extended its losing streak to three matches with the loss. Coach Stephanie Hennig said she saw a lot of promise from players filling in for some missing players, like outside hitter Jack Mally, but said that the team needs to focus on limiting errors on the court.

Geneva’s Kellen Prysmiki (left) and Ian Sofiak (right) block a shot from Wheaton Warrenville South’s Mergen Purevsuren during a game at Geneva on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

“The key is to get better every single day, so in practice we need to to work on much more scenarios as far as figuring out what to do to end a run,” Hennig said. “But at the same time, my biggest thing I’ve been stressing to all of them is being competitive. They need to go out there, play with energy, play loud and play proud.”

WW South looks to move its perfect record to 6-0 when it faces Streamwood at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Geneva will look to get back in the win column when it faces Plainfield South at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Joel Boenitz

Joel Boenitz

Joel is a sports reporter for the Kane County Chronicle. Formerly from St. Charles, Missouri, he has served as an assistant sports editor and beat reporter for the Columbia Missourian in Columbia, Missouri.