Home News Lincoln-Way West’s Andrew Flores gets fired up

Lincoln-Way West’s Andrew Flores gets fired up

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Earlier in the week, there was some friendly banter about trophies between Lincoln-Way West’s Andrew Flores and his older brother, David.

Andrew is a junior libero for the Warriors. David, meanwhile, played on the 2018 team that made it to the state quarterfinals but lost the first match.

As Lincoln-Way West prepared to play in this year’s quarterfinal round, Andrew made some big plans. And he let David know about it during a chat on FaceTime.

“I told him, ‘Oh yeah, we’re going to win state, which is something you couldn’t do,’’’ Andrew said.

David, however, had an ace in the hole that turned the tide in this discussion. He was a redshirt senior setter for UCLA, which recently won the NCAA national championship.

“He posted a picture of the national championship trophy and said, ‘Well, you can’t do this,’” Andrew said of his brother’s accomplishment. “He one-upped me on that one.”

Andrew will have another chance at a state title, but he and the Warriors felt the sting Friday in a 25-17, 25-17 loss to York in the boys volleyball state quarterfinals held at Hoffman Estates.

Loras recruit Connor Jaral contributed eight kills to lead Lincoln-Way West (32-8), while Drew Kregul and Hunter Vedder each had five. Flores came up with a team-high seven digs.

York (36-4) was led by Ben Brown and Jack Bute with nine kills apiece.

Lincoln-Way West's Andrew Flores (1) watches warm-ups before a state quarterfinal match against York on Friday, May 31, 2024 in Hoffman Estates. Lincoln-Way West lost, 25-17, 25-17.H. Rick Bamman / For the Daily Southtown
Lincoln-Way West’s Andrew Flores (1) watches before taking on York during a state quarterfinal match in Hoffman Estates on Friday, May 31, 2024. (H. Rick Bamman / Daily Southtown)

Marist, the Southland’s other team in the quarterfinals, won in 41 minutes with a 25-17, 25-15 decision over Payton. The RedHawks (37-2) used 15 players and were led by Ethan Kuziela with eight kills and 14 assists. Ohio State commit Christian Teresi added six kills and 13 assists.

Kuziela did his damage with an .800 hitting percentage for Marist, which came in ranked No. 2 in the nation in the latest USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.

But despite the kidding around that happened before the quarterfinals, David Flores was invested in Lincoln-Way West. Flores, who played four years at Ball State before moving on to UCLA, postponed his trip back to California to watch Friday. He gave Andrew some tips and pointers.

In 2018, Andrew watched David play on the court at state. The roles were reversed Friday.

“I remember watching him in the state tournament and wondering if I would ever someday make it here,” Andrew said. “It was interesting watching him on the floor, knowing maybe I could have the same opportunity he had. I’m not just living his dream. I’m living his reality.”

Lincoln-Way West's Colin Dargan (7) readies a serve against York during a state quarterfinal match Friday, May 31, 2024 in Hoffman Estates. Lincoln-Way West lost, 25-17, 25-17.H. Rick Bamman / For the Daily Southtown
Lincoln-Way West’s Colin Dargan (7) gets ready to serve against York during a state quarterfinal match in Hoffman Estates on Friday, May 31, 2024. (H. Rick Bamman / Daily Southtown)

UCLA, Ohio State, George Mason and Loyola have expressed interest in Andrew.

Last season, the Warriors had seven players on the roster who had older brothers on the 2018 team. That’s been whittled down to three in Flores, Vedder and Colin Dargan.

They are all juniors and looking for a return trip to state.

“We’ll be able to bounce back next year,” Vedder said. “We have 11 returning players and we are losing two starters. That’s going to be huge for us.”

Lincoln-Way West's head coach Jodi Frigo and Andrew Flores (1) talk during a time out in a state quarterfinal match against York Friday, May 31, 2024 in Hoffman Estates. Lincoln-Way West lost, 25-17, 25-17.H. Rick Bamman / For the Daily Southtown
Lincoln-Way West coach Jodi Frigo and Andrew Flores (1) talk during a timeout against York during a state quarterfinal match in Hoffman Estates on Friday, May 31, 2024. (H. Rick Bamman / Daily Southtown)

Lincoln-Way West coach Jodi Frigo, who also coached the 2018 team, also is optimistic about a return trip to state in 2025.

The route to the quarterfinals this spring was interesting. The Warriors beat Belleville East 19-25, 27-29, 26-24 to win the Collinsville Sectional, and the route to that match also was intriguing.

“We stopped for lunch in Edwardsville, but they lost power in the whole town,” Frigo said. “We had to get on the bus and find a new place to eat. Collinsville had a water main break, and we had to shift the game to a different school.

“But the kids had fun and they enjoyed making a little noise this year.”

Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.



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