Boys Volleyball: Bulava, Loyola bow out in sectional semifinals
Northbrook, IL 5/25/12 Glenbrook North defeated Loyola to advance to the sectional finals in boys volleyball. Loyola's John Scopelliti (1) backs ups Chris Bulava (12) on a hard serve return. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:10PM
No question about it, Chris Bulava wanted to keep playing volleyball.
But the Loyola senior’s high school career ended with a 25-17, 25-23 loss to No. 2-ranked Glenbrook North in a sectional semifinal on Friday.
Easing the agony a bit was a 26-24, 25-23 win over New Trier in the Wheeling regional final. Bulava’s 10 kills helped the fifth-seeded Ramblers avenge last spring’s season-ending loss to the Trevians.
“That was payback,” said Bulava, who scored the match-winning point. “I don’t think I will feel any better this year.”
Loyola sophomore David Wieczorek equaled Bulava’s 10 kills, while senior setter Mario Asencio finished with 23 assists. Jimmy McCabe, Kevin Webster and Bulava had two blocks apiece.
Bulava and Co. won a regional title as a sophomore, before New Trier dashed the Trevians’ hopes a year ago.
Bulava will attend Purdue, where the 6-foot-7 hitter will play Big Ten volleyball.
Bulava has been impressed with his own progression over the years.
“I’ve gotten so much better since my freshman year,” he said. “I remember how much I struggled passing, and my hitting wasn’t top-notch. I toughened up my skills, and I feel I am an exceptional player now.”
Bulava also made sure to pass his knowledge on to the next generation of Ramblers, including 6-5 Wieczorek.
“Earlier in the year, he would get down on himself,” Bulava said. “As a senior player, I feel as if I need to help those players out. I think he played even better than me at some points this year.”
Bulava also credited Asencio. The two played together for several seasons.
“Mario was a great outlet, and one of the most important players on our team,” Bulava said.
Loyola finished the season at 28-10, and won its fourth-straight Evanston tournament. Bulava, Wieczorek and Asencio joined John Scopelliti and Sean Barry on the all-conference team.