The Oak Park-River Forest boys volleyball team received a big assist from Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
Move-in junior setter Diego Rodriguez-Guerrios excelled in all areas of the game in leading the host Huskies to a 25-15, 25-16 sweep of York in a West Suburban Conference Silver Division match.
Rodriguez-Guerrios totaled 15 assists, three aces and two blocks while keeping OPRF’s offense humming.
Rodriguez-Guerrios has quickly fit in with the Huskies (16-8, 2-1) since moving from Puerto Rico in August to live with his aunt, Eneida, in Oak Park.
“They have been very friendly to me,” he said. “They’re helping me enjoy my time here so it’s good.”
“All good players can adapt and he’s a good player,” OPRF coach Don August said. “He’s got a lot of experience playing so it was pretty easy for him to come in.”
Rodriguez-Guerrios has plenty of options to set. Ben Wilks and D.J. Valenti put down six kills apiece to pace the winner’s attack. Owen Brady added three kills and Will Kemper chipped in two.
“Our hitting has been pretty solid,” August said.
The first game was tied at 5 before York (6-11, 2-2) made four-straight hitting errors as OPRF moved ahead 9-5. The Huskies kept the pressure on the Dukes from there, either putting away the ball or returning it until the visitors made a mistake.
“Our game is offensive so we kept hitting hard and that broke their defense,” Rodriguez-Guerrios said.
“It started a little slow, but I thought we got going pretty well and got some good runs,” Wilks said. “We’ve been working on lately getting into a good flow and keeping a lead because we’ve had a problem with that in a couple of our games.”
Not in this one.
Rodriguez-Guerrios put an exclamation point on the opener for the Huskies with his jump serve. He uncorked three aces in a row to close it out. The first one landed left, the second right and the third in the middle.
“This season I haven’t been serving well with jump serves,” Rodriguez-Guerrios said. “Today I felt it so I was hitting where I wanted it to be. It felt good.”
The second game played out much like the first. The score was tied at 3 when OPRF scored four consecutive points on a kill and block from Wilks and a pair of York attack errors.
The Huskies controlled the action the rest of the way to post an easy victory. After losing to Downers Grove North last week, the defending Silver champions now must hope someone beats the Trojans if they are to repeat.
“Maybe we’ll get a break and they’ll lose to Glenbard West and we’ll be in a three-way tie,” August said. “That’s what we’re hoping for anyway.”