BOYS VOLLEYBALL — A big smile came across Eric Kerr’s face when he started talking about the resources at his disposal.
The New Trier setter’s job starts with the pass, usually from Joe Coyne on the back row. The offensive series ends with one of a handful of hitters slamming the ball over the net.
“That’s my favorite part about this year,” said the 6-foot-2 setter. “Other years we’ve had good hitters, but this year we have so many that are equal. I have confidence in all of them, and that allows me to make a read at the last minute. I never say I am going to go to this one guy. I can be aggressive with it.”
But Kerr knows the play doesn’t get going until the back row delivers a good pass.
“They make my job so much easier,” he said. “I give them a lot of credit. A lot of my success is the hard work they put in. I don’t have to do too much.”
The senior captain is on the best team since joining the varsity as a sophomore. The Trevians entered the final week of the regular season 27-6 overall and 7-1 in the CSL South. They can capture the conference championship with wins over Evanston and Glenbrook South this week.
New Trier then goes into the state tournament next week as the No. 1 seed at the Niles North Sectional. The Trevians, who didn’t get out of regionals last season, are looking for their first sectional title since 2007 when they took second place.
But New Trier ended last week on a bad note with a two-set loss at home to Maine South. The Hawks, who finished third in the state a year ago, won 26-24, 25-22 and ruined New Trier’s run at a perfect league record. The two teams could meet again in the semifinals of the Niles North Sectional.
Kerr got serious about volleyball during middle school when he played club ball for Adversity. He later switched to Chicago-based D1 club, where New Trier senior outside hitter Bennett Wakenight also plays.
“I was libero until my sophomore year,” Kerr said. “My club coach switched me over because I was getting too big.”
Kerr ended last week with 533 assists out of a hybrid 6-2 offense. He shares the job with Jesse Solomon. Kerr also came into this week with 62 kills, 35 blocks and 29 aces.
Among Kerr’s targets are Andrew Gates, Alex Cook, Solomon and Wakenight. Kerr and Gates showed they can be one of the more dangerous combinations in the state at Lincoln-Way East’s tournament two weekends ago.
“The offense is definitely a lot of fun,” Kerr said.