Brian Zerfas’ young Oswego East volleyball team has not yet found consistency, a year after a record-breaking spring.
This was a start.
The Wolves last Thursday beat Plainfield East – the team that eliminated Oswego East in a regional final last year – in three sets.
Anthony Torres had 15 kills, Jack Griffith eight kills and middle Solomon Dali five kills for Oswego East (6-7, 1-0). Justin Jaekel had 36 assists and Scott Clarke nine digs.
“It’s always good to beat the team that beat you in regionals,” Zerfas said. “Things have been up and down. We’ve played good volleyball in stretches. That was probably our most complete match.”
That inconsistency is understandable.
The Wolves graduated a ton of seniors, including Jahari Winkfield and Cade and Collin Harrison, off a team that shattered the program win record.
Oswego East starts two sophomores, including impact middle Dali. Torres, Oswego East’s right-side hitter for the second straight year, is now playing six rotations.
“He has the hammer on the team when it comes to power,” Zerfas said. “He’s already over 100 kills.”
Griffith, a senior, is Oswego East’s next big hitter, with Dail and junior Omari Morris in the middle. Jaekel has done a good job paying his dues, and sets the tone for the Wolves. Clarke, with Torres the only player that saw significant court time last year, is at libero.
“There are a lot of new faces, which is exciting for us,” Zerfas said. “We’ve played a lot of good volleyball in stretches, but we’ve struggled to seal the deal when it matters most.”
Zerfas is excited about the depth in his program. The Wolves’ JV just won the Metea Valley Invite, and the freshmen took third at Waubonsie Valley.
The bar has been set by the most recent senior class.
“This group understands the expectations here now and the strides we need to make going forward,” Zerfas said. “This group does not have many freak out moments. They don’t turn on each other, have extremely high character and are fun to coach. As they start putting that consistency together it will be fun to watch.”