Drake DeJesus had 10 kills and Michael Crawford recorded 27 assists for Kenmore East as the Bulldogs defeated North Tonawanda in straight sets on Monday evening.
Kenmore East was the aggressor from the opening serve and really showcased its power game in the 25-17, 25-14, 25-22 victory. The Lumberjacks (1-2) are a young team that’s still trying to come together as a team.
Jacks coach Luke Hodgson thought his team was just a step too slow against Ken East.
“It was a lot about (poor) passing and guys were a half step too slow,” Hodgson said. “Silly things, mental things. It’s a lot about experience.”
North Tonawanda has mostly sophomores and juniors in its lineup and Hodgson said that it will take some time for the unit to gain some experience and start to play more consistent volleyball.
The team lacks size throughout the lineup and Hodgson said that players have to be faster to compete with some of the quicker, more powerful teams on its schedule. But he’s thrilled with the way his guys approach a game and the team’s overall attitude on the court.
“It’s just a mindset the kids have,” Hodgson said. “That they are willing to run through a wall if need be. Sometimes you saw it today and sometimes they were just a half second too late. They’re still thinking about it and they’re still giving it their all.”
The Bulldogs dominated the game at the net and really executed well offensively, specifically in the backcourt with some on-point passing. Ken East coach Kyle Horvatis said his team had been inconsistent through tournament play and he wasn’t sure exactly how his team would come out an play on the road.
“Things were happening, finally, like I wanted them to,” he said. “I expect to go out and look confident but they’ve been up and down. Finally they were steady tonight and it came together well. This is a tough place to play because (NT) brings it with their noise and their fans.”
For the Jacks, Sam Weglarski had four kills and a block, and Donovan Book had four kills and two blocks.
Hodgson said there were plenty of good things to take out of the loss.
“There is a lot of positives where guys were blocking, taking good swings on the ball and hitting our spots on our serves,” Hodgson said. “We’re moving forward. I don’t think we’ve ever taken a step back — even if we lose. There is always something positive that we’re doing.”
Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda Sports on Twitter @tonanewsports.