Boys Volleyball: Glenbrook North’s Barabus makes most of limited attacking chances
Glenbrook North's Jakub Barabas (10) celebrates a point scored against Glenbrook South Tuesday May 29, 2012 in Northbrook. The Spartans won the sectional final to advance to the state tournament. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:16AM
Glenbrook North volleyball player Pat Bedford has clearly established himself as the Spartans’ top hitter by regularly raining thunderous kills on the opposition.
Bedford’s role is no secret to opponents. Easing the pressure on the senior outside hitter is his brother, setter Kyle Bedford, who has developed a strong, trustworthy bond with the myriad weapons that keep opponents honest.
“He obviously has a good relationship with his brother,” Jakub Barabus said of Kyle Bedford. “That’s somebody he tends to set, but he’s definitely started trusting us and that’s a direct result from our play. He’s seen me, he’s seen Brian, and everybody else put the ball away. He’s started trusting us.”
In Glenbrook North’s 25-19, 25-7 victory over Prospect, which earned Chris Cooper his 10th regional title in 10 years as Glenbrook North’s head coach, Bedford spread the ball around.
Pat Bedford and Brian O’Keefe both recorded five kills. Barabus and Kyle Bedford smacked four kills apiece, and senior middle hitter Jeff Goldberg chipped in with three kills.
“The thing that’s really nice is our setter Kyle isn’t afraid to go away from our supposed big hitters,” Cooper said. “Obviously Pat is our biggest hitter, but at a bunch of positions there (against Prospect) he set Jakub on the right side and I think that threw off their keying on one guy. We’ve got a lot of guys that can do that, and Kyle is good at finding those people. Jakub has improved in the sense that Kyle has gotten more comfortable with him and he’s proven to Kyle that he can take swings in big moments.”
Barabus, who plays right side, knows he isn’t likely to see very many sets during a match.
His primary role is to be loud on the court, helping the Spartans stay organized and enthused.
“I get, sometimes, one out of 10 sets, and my job is to put it down,” Barabus said. “Do I look at that as pressure? Not really. I don’t have put down every single ball that I get, but when I do (get a set), I stay calm. If it’s hitting or even if it’s setting up the set if Kyle passes that first ball and I have to set that second ball, I’m comfortable stepping in and setting the outside, or even middle, and executing.”
Glenbrook North largely relied on serving and defense, the clear-cut strengths of its team this season, to carry it to another regional title.
But for the Spartans to secure a downstate berth, a goal they’ve discussed all season, Cooper’s team knows having a balanced attack mixed with quality serving and sturdy defense is vital.
“We are not going to win if we have to rely on one guy,” Cooper said. “We have to have all five of our hitters and Kyle attacking every once in a while. We have to have all of that to be successful.”