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Tiger volleyball team wins season finale, claims No. 1 seed in district tournament

May 18, 2005 - Throughout the 2005 season, the Oak-ville Senior High boys' volleyball team has battled its way to a No. 1 seed for this week's district tournament.

The No. 1 ranking gave the Tigers the right to be tournament host — sort of.

The Tigers (19-4, 5-2 Suburban West) have been forced to win their district on the road after experiencing several scheduling conflicts for use of the school's gymnasium. The games were moved from Oak-ville to St. Louis Community College-Mer-amec.

Oakville finished out the 2005 regular season with a commanding 25-16, 22-25, 25-17 victory over Eureka. The win over the Wildcats was a strong finish to a successful regular season for the Tiger's according to Oakville head coach Becky Czuppon.

"Eureka's in the top 10 and we knew we would have to come out and pay attention and play well," Czuppon told the Call. "We had a different lineup in the second game but had our regular lineup in the first and third games and pretty much cleaned their clocks."

Oakville outside hitter Ben Duckworth led the Tigers with 10 kills, three blocks and one assist.

The junior leads Oakville in aces with 37, attacks with 279, kills with 141 and digs with 106.

"Ben's peers have a lot of respect for him and he's been our go-to guy," Czuppon said. "His experience from club ball is really paying off at the high school level."

Junior Josh Haegele led the Tigers in assists with 35 while also racking up two kills and three blocks against the Wildcats.

The Tigers' starting setter tops the Suburban West Conference with 482 assists.

"I can never say enough about Josh," Czuppon said. "He's very athletic and his knowledge of the game is so good."

Should Oakville win the district tournament, they would play in the state semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. today — May 19 — at Harris Stowe State College, 3026 La-clede Ave.

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