Wildcats beat Waukegan Bulldogs for boys volleyball senior night

Senior Luis Correa (2) jumps up to spike the ball against Waukegan’s defense.

On Wednesday, April 19, 2023, the Wildcats varsity boys volleyball team competed against the Waukegan Bulldogs in the Libertyville High School west gym.
The crowds roared throughout the game, cheering on different players. Libertyville spiked Waukegan in the first game 25 – 9. The final score of the second game was 25 – 16 with Libertyville taking home the victory.
The game took place on senior night. The seniors make up the majority of the team, so this allowed the seniors to be honored for their part on the team during the game.
“We’ve got nine seniors so it was nice to be able to get all those guys in [the game],” Head Coach Jenny Smith said.
Smith started coaching at LHS in 2009. She first started as the girls volleyball assistant coach and then took over as the boys varsity head coach.
Smith feels that one of the team’s strengths is court independence.
“The guys typically know what they need to be doing, if we’re hitting those marks, [and] if we need to be improving,” Smith said. “They are mature enough to be able to communicate that to each other and hold each other accountable to that.”
The team learned from their weaknesses which helped them take home the victory.
“Earlier this season, we’d been making a lot of errors in matches, which is just points to the other team,” Smith said. “So we’ve been correcting that in practice, making sure that we’re feeling extremely competitive in practice and putting a higher weight on those errors so that we can learn to correct that.”
Senior Aleks Slesers volleyball journey started in fifth grade when he was ten years old and playing club volleyball. He has grown up playing volleyball thanks to his dad raising him on it.
One of Slesers’ strong suits is leadership on and off the court.
“I feel like I can help out everywhere I can,” he said. “[I] help lift my teammates up as players.”
Senior Lucas Walters started club volleyball his sophomore year which helped him get to where he is now.
“I’m a very strong blocker and I’m very good at getting the team energy, especially late in the game,” Walters said. “I make sure we have energy to finish off the cycle.”
Walters learned from this game to bring the energy into the next game.
“We need to make sure that even against worse teams that we’re giving it our all and making sure that we’re going our hardest and finding out if we have a good group,” he said.
Senior Luis Correa’s favorite part of the matches is being able to play with everyone and being a decent team.
“I’m happy with where we’re at right now,” Correa said. “But I think there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Correa feels that rallying up the team and building confidence in his teammates is one of his strong suits.
The team used their variety of strengths to win the game. Even if they did win tonight, they are open for improvement to grow as individuals and as a team.
“[I’m] very satisfied with how our guys played,” Smith said. “It was a conference game and we were very focused during it.”