Andover Golden Warriors Boys Volleyball '09

Tue, Jun 02, 2009 07:00 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1 2 3 4 5 Final
St. John's 25 21 19 25 16 3
Andover 20 25 25 22 14 2

St. John's Prep outlasts Andover

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Lawrence: St John's, John Tassinari spikes the ball over the net. St. John's defeated Andover High in the Boys North Volleyball Championship game tuesday night. 

 » Carl Russo, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Wednesday, June, 03 By Mike McMahon
Staff writer

LAWRENCE — The third time was the charm for St. John’s Prep.

Despite getting blanked by Andover twice in the regular season, the Eagles got the last laugh, ending the Golden Warriors’ season last night 25-20, 21-25, 19-25, 25-22, 16-14 in the Division 1 North Final.

It’s St. John’s third-straight sectional trophy; the Eagles also captured the Division 1 State Championship last season.

North Reading’s Andrew Lutz was the difference maker for St. John’s, finishing the night with 21 kills, including a hammering spike that ended the match in the fifth game. He was only outdone by Andover senior Matt Washburn, who finished his excellent high school career by carrying his team with 24 kills, including a four in a row to capture the third game.

The difference between the regular season matches and last night’s was Andover’s inability to protect the net.
“Our blocking was better in the first two games,” said Andover head coach George Sullivan. “And really, that’s what did us in, our blocking. We needed to be better around the net and we weren’t.”

From the back line, Andover’s strategy was to serve away from St. John’s superstar John Tassinari (an Andover resident), and it worked. But, it resulted in numerous wide-open looks for Lutz, a 6-foot-5 middle blocker with a knack for vicious spikes.

“We wanted to try to isolate Tassinari,” Sullivan said. “That was the plan going in, and we were executing. If we were better in our blocking we would have been able to isolate Lutz a little more, too.”

Lutz, a converted baseball player, has had contact from both Ohio State and Penn State to take to their court.

He’s only a junior.

Andover’s Timmy Lynch was also in the Prep starting six.

St. John’s took the first game, scoring nine points before Andover was able to score its first.

“It didn’t help that Andover had graduation (Monday) night,” Sullivan said. “They had a late night and we looked sluggish at the start.”

But Andover rebounded and woke up, taking the second game after Washburn outsmarted Lutz at the net, going up for a hard spike before pushing the ball to some open space after Lutz went for a block.

After Andover took the third game with ease, the Prep rolled to a quick 5-1 lead at the start of game four and at one point led 18-9 before Andover rolled off eight-straight points to close the gap thanks to numerous well-placed serves by Andrew Kanell. But St. John’s rallied, scoring the game’s final four points to tie the score.

The teams traded points in the decisive fifth game before the Prep landed the final blow on a Lutz kill. It was the first two-point difference the entire game.

“We had our chances, we had a lead, we just couldn’t close the deal,” Sullivan said. “One like this hurts, and it will for a while.”

Game Statistics:

Kills: A — Matt Washburn 24; SJP — Andrew Lutz 21

Blocks: A — Washburn 12; SJP — Lutz 10

Service points (aces): A — Washburn 11 (4)


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