Boys volleyball: Bolingbrook cruises past Lincoln-Way Central

Bolingbrook’s Connor Dmochowski flips a shot over the net against Lincoln-Way Central on Tuesday May 7, 2024 in New Lenox.

NEW LENOX – Entering the SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover match against Lincoln-Way Central, Bolingbrook coach Molly DeSerf said that her team recently had been having trouble closing out matches.

The Raiders had no such problem Tuesday, as they rolled to a 25-14, 25-14 win over the Knights, leading nearly the entire match.

“Closing out matches is something we talked about the last week or so,” Bolingbrook setter Connor Dmochowski said. “When it’s crunch time, we wanted to stay aggressive and not lay back.

“It’s a lot of fun being a setter on a team like this with all the weapons we have. There are options for me all across the board. Sometimes it feels like I just have to get it close to the net and someone will put it down.”

In the win, Dmochowski finished with 20 assists, Charlie Bialek led the way with eight kills, followed by six from Tristan Benbow, five from Tristan Caminar and three each by Jacqson LeSure and Trevor Wardlow.

“Charlie Bialek had a great game tonight,” DeSerf said. “He has a lot of ability. The key has been to unlock it. He’s also a football player, so we want him to tap into that. He is aggressive, and he does a lot of focus on watching film and seeing where he can improve. He has done a great job with that.

“We are at the point of the season where we know it’s going to end. Even if we win the rest of our matches, the season is still going to end pretty soon. We want to enjoy the ride and make the most of the time we have left.”

Bolingbrook (23-7) never trailed in the first set, breaking a 2-2 early tie and scoring the next six points. The Raiders got kills from Bialek and LeSure and a block from Caminar down the stretch. A kill by Central’s Logan Baechtold made it 8-3, but Bolingbrook went on another 6-0 spurt, highlighted by two kills from Caminar, one by LeSure and one by Benbow, to move out to a 14-3 lead.

Bolingbrook’s Charlie Bialek blocks a shot against Lincoln-Way Central on Tuesday May 7, 2024 in New Lenox.

Lincoln-Way Central (17-15) got to within 17-9 after an ace by Joey Babich, but never got closer than that the rest of the way as Bialek had two kills and a block down the stretch, while Benbow had a pair of kills.

Also instrumental in the Bolingbrook victory was libero Tyler Vasquez, who had a team-leading nine digs while adding two assists. Vasquez’s ability to set the ball when needed makes things easier on Dmochowski as well as the rest of the team.

“With Tyler out there, it’s like having two setters,” Dmochowski said. “Even when we are out of system, we really aren’t out of system, because Tyler can get us back.”

Not only did the Bolingbrook front line dominate when on the attack, they also were formidable while blocking. When the ball got past the Raider block, defenders such as Vasquez and Nahya Scott were there to bring the ball back up.

The second set was tight early, with Lincoln-Way Central holding a 7-6 lead before a 4-0 spurt by Bolingbrook made it 10-7. The Raiders were able to close the match out, outscoring the Knights 15-7 the rest of the way. Bialek had back-to-back kills and Wardlow served an ace to put them up 13-8, and a run of kills by LeSure, Benbow and Caminar put them ahead 20-10 en route to the victory.

Lincoln-Way Central’s Joey Vellenga hits a shot against Bolingbrook on Tuesday May 7, 2024 in New Lenox.

“We have a lot of talent in all areas,” DeSerf said. “The key for us the rest of the way is if they can all click at the same time. This is a special group of kids. I don’t have to coach them very hard. They want to do the work.”

Joey Vellenga led Lincoln-Way Central with four kills, while Baechtold and Ben Pryor each had two.