Young defeats Payton for third Public League title in four years
BY MICHAEL WOJTYCHIW May 18, 2012
The city boys volleyball title has returned to Young. A year after Payton stopped the Dolphins’ run of back-to-back titles, the Dolphins got their revenge, defeating the Grizzlies 25-20, 25-17 Friday at UIC.
“These guys beat us last year in the quarterfinals,’’ said Okello Hope, who was named the Public League’s Most Outstanding Player of the season. “Losing to them last year made us really hungry. We wanted this really bad.’’
The Grizzlies (23-10) used some timely serving to build a 9-6 lead, but Young repeatedly battled back until taking the lead for good at 14-13 on a Payton error. The Grizzlies pulled within one, 15-14, before Young pulled away for the 25-20 win.
Four of the Dolphins’ last 10 points came off of aces, with Hope getting the ace to win the set.
“I never thought I’d be playing like this,’’ Hope said. “I just started playing essentially in sophomore year. I wasn’t a volleyball player, I was just another athlete who wanted another sport to play. I never expected any of this to happen.’’
Young (24-9) used the momentum of the first set to start the second set and before you knew it, the match got out of hand. The Dolphins broke the 2-2 tie on an ace from Henry Schultz and the rout was on from there.
Payton uncharacteristically unraveled, committing numerous net violations and service errors. Young took advantage of the Grizzlies’ sloppy play and brought home the school’s third city title in four years. Hope had five kills in the set, and led all players with 11 kills.
Early Schultz had five kills and Perry Howell three for Payton.
“We are going to come out with the same intensity because we know we’re probably going to see them again in the state playoffs. We’ve beat them twice already. They’re going to want to get us real bad. We just have to not let them do it.’’
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