Borgia's Jacob Maune hits the ball past East St. Louis blockers. The Knights lost the match in three games.

Bill Battle

While the Borgia volleyball Knights posted their second victory of the season this week, a winning streak eluded the team Thursday night.

Borgia won Wednesday on the road at North Tech, 25-21, 24-26, 25-23.

But, playing at Borgia Grade School Thursday, the Knights were thwarted by East St. Louis, 19-25, 25-20, 25-17.

“We thought after winning the first game, we might have a shot at pulling off two wins in a row,” Borgia Head Coach John Nieder said. “That wasn’t the case, unfortunately.”

Borgia plays Saturday in the Marquette JV Tournament starting at 10 a.m. The Knights are scheduled to take on Marquette and Oakville in that event.

Borgia returns to action with junior varsity home matches next week. The Knights will host St. Dominic Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and St. Mary’s Thursday at 5 p.m.

Borgia hosts the Seckman JV team April 29 at 5 p.m. before finishing with varsity road matches at St. Mary’s May 1 at 5 p.m. and Bayless May 2 at 5 p.m.

North Tech

The Knights earned their second victory of the season Wednesday at North Tech. Borgia needed three games to win the match, 25-21, 24-26, 25-23.

The Knights looked to Korey Fumagalli, who recorded a double-double with 14 kills and four digs. He also added four blocks.

“Korey Fumagalli had another strong outing,” Nieder said.

Nieder said the Knights utilized a different lineup, moving Jimmy Pak to middle hitter.

“It worked out really well,” Nieder said. “Jacob Maune had been ailing a sore back which really hurt us during our last home match against Bayless. Jacob still played a limited amount of time and was a huge lift off the bench when needed.”

Pak recorded nine kills to go with 12 digs and four blocks.

Maune played long enough to record six kills, three blocks and two digs.

On the defensive side, Nieder credited Brendan Joyce and Nathan Bargen.

“Brendan and Nathan both did a fine job defensively,” Nieder said.

Joyce had one kill and 10 digs. Bargen ended with eight digs.

In the setting department, the pair of Blechle and Po-Chun Huang stepped up.

“Alex Blechle & Po-Chun both had one of their better setting performances,” Nieder said. “They are really starting to get more hitting involved in our offense.”

Blechle posted six kills, three digs and 21 assists. Huang recorded one kill and 14 assists.

Jacob Simily added one dig.

East St. Louis

Borgia had a golden chance to extend its winning streak to two matches Thursday, but fell to the East St. Louis Flyers in three games, 19-25, 25-20, 25-17.

Due to Borgia’s prom this week, the Ray DeGreeff Memorial Gymnasium was not available for the match. So, it was moved to the St. Francis Borgia Grade School Gym.

“I enjoyed it,” Nieder said. “Last year, we played North Tech at Our Lady of Lourdes. We ran into the same problem with the prom. This year, we decided to play here. This is really neat. It’s got a great atmosphere.”

East St. Louis was delayed due to traffic and the match started late.

“I don’t know if that worked for us or against us,” Nieder said. “We tried out a new lineup tonight. Jacob Maune still isn’t quite ready to go back to middle yet, so we’re still working with Jimmy and Korey out of the middles. We did quite fine. We did well.”

The Knights came out and took the first game, 25-19,

Borgia held a six-point lead, 18-12, before the Flyers came back to tie it. Maune put down a kill to give Borgia the lead and the Knights never looked back.

Borgia turned to Pak down the stretch and he contributed a kill and a block. Huang came up with an ace and Blechle recorded a kill to close out the win.

“That’s two good games in a row for Jim,” Nieder said. “He did very well in the last game. His defense and blocking is just phenomenal.”

In the second game, the teams traded the lead. Borgia was up 17-16 before a service error tied it. That was the break the Flyers needed to jump out to a 25-20 victory, ending it on a Borgia service error.

Going to a third game, Borgia led by four points at 10-6 before the Flyers came back to tie it at 11-11. That’s when one of the key moments of the game happened.

Fumagalli went up for a block but took the ball off the face.

Not only did East St. Louis earn the point when the ball flew out of bounds, but Fumagalli had to come out of the game.

“Korey got hit really hard,” Nieder said. “I don’t think anyone realized how hard he got hit. He turned to me right away and he had a bloody nose and a bloody lip. He took one off the face. He wanted to go right back in, but I wouldn’t let him until he got the blood off of him. I was proud of the way he came back.”

The Flyers ripped off three more points before Fumagalli was sufficiently ready to return to the lineup. Borgia trailed 15-11 and never came back.

“It was a deflater when Korey came out and I had to shuffle the lineup and pull somebody else to take his place,” Nieder said. “We went into a tailspin and couldn’t pull out. I’m still proud of how the kids keep fighting.”

Borgia fought back to within three points, 17-14, but the rest of the match belonged to the hard-hitting East St. Louis squad.