Chicago teachers’ strike may mean long-needed rest for OPRF
Oak Park Tuesday 09.11.12. Oak Park and River Forest's Kiley Nelson (left) and Allie Nelson (center) attempt to block a shot by Glenbard West's Megan Wagner (right) during their game against Glenbard West on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, in Oak Park. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:08PM
WHEATON — Due to the Chicago Public Schools teacher’s strike, the status of Oak Park-River Forest’s home match Wednesday against Young’s girls volleyball team remained in doubt.
The Huskies could earn a long rest this week since OPRF is not scheduled to play again until Friday at Nazareth.
Young already had its nonconference match at Fenwick postponed Sept. 12 during the first week of the strike.
Perhaps OPRF can use a break after losing five of its last six matches.
The young Huskies placed 20th Saturday at the Wheaton Classic at Wheaton Warrenville South. OPRF’s only victory in the tournament was a 24-26, 25-23, 25-18 win over Evanston in Saturday’s Bronze bracket quarterfinals.
“We had a really rough week,” OPRF coach Don August said. “We had a three-game loss to Glenbard West and we played Marist and Waubonsie Valley in pool play (Friday). This year’s tournament was really loaded. We hoped to beat some really good teams (Saturday).”
After beating Evanston, the Huskies (8-8, 1-1 West Suburban Silver) followed with another marathon match against Downers Grove North, losing 20-25, 25-22, 26-24. Their Wheaton Classic appearance ended with a 25-19, 25-15 loss to Glenbrook South.
The Huskies were 7-3 after beating Fenwick Sept. 6, but their slump started with a 25-17, 16-25, 27-25 loss at home Sept. 11 to conference favorite Glenbard West (18-0), which is ranked No. 5 by the Chicago Sun-Times.
August is fielding one of his youngest lineups in years and started two sophomores and a freshman during some matches at the Wheaton Classic. Freshman Allie Nelson has been playing outside hitter with her older sister, Kiley, a junior who is also starting. August has also given starting opportunities to his sophomore middle hitters, Symone Speech and Meg Valenti.
The veteran coach said he will continue to change his lineups around as the Huskies go the next four weeks without a tournament until the Maine West Pumpkin Oct. 12-13.
“I don’t think our confidence (is lacking). We need to focus a little bit more,” August said. “This team is good. I like the way we practice and I like the way we play.”