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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Jacks Keep Having Fun

There’s no secret or magical formula, really. It’s just about having fun.

Collin Rambler had 26 digs as North Tonawanda beat Kenmore West, 3-1, in Niagara Frontier League boys volleyball action that took place Thursday evening at the Ken-West Athletic Complex.

The win lifts the Lumberjacks to 7-1 in league play – just one game behind front-runners Lockport who are a spotless 8-0 in the NFL.

Coming off a hard fought five-game win over Niagara-Wheatfield on Wednesday, it would have been easy for the Jacks to experience a big game let down. But, even though they dropped the first game by a 25-19 score they stormed back to win the next three by scores of 25-23, 25-15 and a come-from-behind 25-21 win in game four.

“Everything clicked well off of serve receive and transition,” said NT coach Luke Hodgson. “It was just a matter of, I think, these guys tried to over extend (and) do too much. They wanted to win the whole match in the middle of one play in the second game. They just tried to do too much and they dialed it back and they did just fine.”

Playing to five games in the championship round of the Gary Tocke Tournament that was held at Ken-West this past Saturday, after a back-and-forth battle in game two evened the score at 1-1, it looked as if the two teams were destined for another marathon night.

But for whatever reason the Blue Devils lost their focus and seemed to sleepwalk through game three.

In game four, Ken-West held a 19-15 lead, but where unable to finish off the Jacks. Rory Farkas, who had eight kills, secured the win with the second of his two blocks on the night as NT posted a 25-21 win.

“We’re just tight-nit. We’re like a family. That’s the best way to put it,” said Rory Farkas.

“We just all get along and just have so much fun. It’s just about having fun. The more fun we have the more we win.”

For the Blue Devils, now 3-5 in NFL, this game was a let down after a decisive win over Kenmore East on Monday.

More than just a three-game sweep of the Bulldogs on Monday, Blue Devils coach Alex Keller was pleased with the determination his team showed throughout. Keller said that on this night, though there were flashes, there simply wasn’t that same focus or fire to win. And it cost them.

“I told the guys you have to be confident in what you’re doing,” said West coach Alex Keller. “Regardless if it’s the first point or the last point. We looked really tentative at the end. We couldn’t pass the ball the last 10 points and you’ve got to do that if you want to win a close game.”

Adam Michael Pray had eight kills and eight service aces for the Blue Devils. Trevor Book had six kills and 10 digs for the Jacks.

“I like where we’re headed,” Hodgson said. “Even when we drop a game it keeps these guys focused. It keeps them focused that there are things that they need to work on and things they need to think about and it just makes them better. So I’m excited to see the second half of the season and see where it takes us into sectionals, which is really interesting competition.”

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