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When Brother Rice flips the switch, look out.
Trailing Lyons 8-3 in the first set of their championship match Saturday at the 12-team Richards Invitational, the Crusaders’ lightbulb went on and seniors Mitch Weiler and Kevin Myren went off.
Weiler posted eight kills and seven digs and Myren added nine kills as Brother Rice decked Lyons 25-21, 25-15, avenging a championship defeat to the Lions in the Richards finale from a year ago.
“We were really shaky in the first set,” Myren said, “but then our blocking and our passing really came together in the second — especially our passing.”
Weiler was instrumental in the front and back row in securing Tournament MVP honors — he also earned MVP at the Brother Rice Smack Attack. Myren was named to the All-Tournament team and added consecutive second-set aces for a 22-11 advantage.
David Kelly chipped in six kills and five digs and Jim Dwyer doled out 24 assists for Brother Rice (31-2), which used an 8-2 surge to get out of the early hole in Game 1.
“Dwyer did a great job spreading it out,” Weiler said. “That’s crucial. We’ve started adding new plays to create a faster offense. Our defense has been improving, too. When it comes together, we can do great things.”
Lyons (24-6) was paced by All-Tournament selections Marko Kostich — one of the premier setters in the state — and outside hitter Michael Dean. Kostich notched 18 assists and three kills, Dean had 10 kills and Rob Watkins five kills.
Consecutive put aways from Myren in Game 2 gave Brother Rice a 2-1 lead it would never relinquish. When Kelly later went off a blocker, Rice went up 18-9 for what was an insurmountable lead.
“The second game we kind of had a slow start and we really had a hard time keeping up with them,” Lyons coach Joann Pyritz said. “We seemed to lose some confidence and they just kept coming at us.”
Wheaton Warrenville South defeated Warren 25-17, 22-25, 25-18 for third. Jared Wilcox and John Hildebrand earned All-Tournament honors for the Tigers (20-13). Warren’s Bryant Holland earned the nod for Warren (20-12).
Michael Wexter led Lincoln-Way West (24-6) to a two-set win over Morton for fifth. Downers Grove North beat Richards for seventh.