By Phil Brozynski
Wheaton Warrenville South enters the 2008 boys volleyball season heavily favored to win its fourth state title in the past five years, but the list of challengers is impressive.
One of those challengers is Hinsdale Central, which returns seven of its top 10 players from last year’s 34-5 team. The Red Devils will be led by 5-foot-11 senior playmaker Peter Netisingha.
As a junior, Netisingha recorded 886 assists, 52 aces, 209 digs, 50 kills and 24 blocks to lead Hinsdale Central to the sectional final against Downers Grove South. Netisingha returns for his fourth year on varsity.
Joining Netisingha as a four-year veteran is 6-3 outside Pat Dodd, who led the Red Devils with 326 kills. Dodd added 197 digs, 40 aces, 53 blocks and 13 assists for veteran coach Len Serwat.
“Netisingha and Dodd bring a wealth of leadership to our team,” Serwat said. “We lost three talented players to graduation, but we have confidence that we have newcomers to fill those spots.”
Other key players for Hinsdale Central will be 6-5 junior outside Jordan Williams (153 kills, 45 blocks), 6-2 senior middle Noah Johnson (133 kills, 86 blocks), senior libero Rob Everette (140 digs, 28 aces), and 6-4 junior Alex Andre.
Another team to watch is Lyons, which returns 12 seniors, six of whom started in some capacity, from last year’s 24-14 team that lost to Hinsdale Central 26-24, 25-22 in the sectional semifinals.
The Lions will miss graduated outside Patrick Kilrea and libero Chris Arquilla, but welcome back 6-3 outside Justas Pagojas (210 kills), 6-4 outside Andrew Gulik (195 kills), and 6-2 setter Scott Clay (657 assists).
“We have some pieces to figure out, but I look for us to make a run at a state appearance,” Lyons coach Joann Pyritz said.