Just a spike short

Michael+Brandt+%2717+hits+a+kill+above+blockers+in+the+first+set+of+Jones%27+regional+final+against+Hinsdale+Central.+

Michael Brandt '17

Michael Brandt ’17 hits a kill above blockers in the first set of Jones’ regional final against Hinsdale Central.

Ulisses Regalado, Sports Staff

After winning their conference and having a winning run in state, the men’s volleyball team reached the regional final where they lost to Hinsdale Central in two sets with a score of 25-20 and 25-13.  Jones came in as underdogs, since they were labeled #9 seed in comparison to Hinsdale Central being #1 seed in sectionals. However, the Jones players felt that being underdogs could play out in their favor and decided to plan out the game accordingly.

“It was a game where we really had nothing to lose, we were not supposed to be here,” said Matt English ‘17. “We decided to come out and play without pressure and, instead, let the pressure mount on them.”

The strategy looked to be promising for the team as they quickly took the lead in the first set. They took a 3 point lead, with a 5-2 score, proving to be the biggest lead of the night. However, Hinsdale slowly began to rally and took a 5 point lead with a 12-7 score. Jones responded with a rally of their own and took back the lead, with a 13-12 score. The pressure seemed to be mounting on Hinsdale and the lead kept going back and forth. Despite the proximity of the score and the evenness on the court, Hinsdale powered through the end of the first set and took a 25-20 victory.

The second set was not as close as the first one. Hinsdale Central swiftly took the lead and never let go of it for the rest of the game. They set the biggest lead of the night to a 12 point one and did not give Jones the opportunity to rally or come back. With a 25-13 win, the season ended for Jones and Hinsdale were crowned regional champions.

“I would not called it [the loss] heartbreaking,” said captain Michael Diaz ‘17. “We were huge underdogs and proved to be competition. At the end of the day they were simply a better team.”

The Jones men’s volleyball finished the season conference champions, a Little Village tournament runners up, and regional finalists. The successful season also gave them promotion to the Gold Division, the highest in the city, where they will play the likes of Whitney Young and Lane Tech. Coach Michael Myers credits the success to the departing seniors.

“They worked so hard to get us where we are now. We could have done a little better in city, but this team did what they had to do to get us to the top and I am thankful for them,” said Myers.

Despite the importance of the departing seniors in the team, Myers feels that he has an established core in the team and they are ready to compete in the Gold Division.

“We have a great team right now. When I put the juniors in they do not change the dynamic of the team. The juniors that are coming up also look great and I am confident of having another successful season next year,” said Myers.