Glenbard West seniors celebrate their night

Sure there were balloons, posters and cake to honor the seniors, but there was also the matter of playing a volleyball match against visiting Addison Trail.

Glenbard West managed to accomplish everything on Wednesday: start all the seniors, knock off the Blazers 25-11, 25-12 and stay perfect on its home floor so far this season.

The all-senior lineup of Elise Kahn, Alison Burelbach, Jaime Ryan, Robin Sackett, Abbey Matre, Patricia Stirb and Kaitlyn Motel was sharp. And with the help of some very talented juniors who entered midway through Game 1, the Hilltoppers improved to 23-5 on the year heading into this weekend's Autumnfest tourney at Glenbard East.

"One of the main goals coming into tonight was to get all the seniors to play," said senior outside hitter Alison Burelbach, who led the way with 6 kills and 2 blocks. "I think it was really great to focus on playing with each other. It was great to win, of course, but we were focused on getting everyone in and also having fun."

The visiting Blazers didn't have so much fun as Glenbard West's tough serving made things difficult.

"We're proud of the way we battled in spurts, but they proved to be a more consistent team tonight and took us out of system and our serve receive broke down," Addison Trail coach Dan Styler said. "The will was there and our mechanics broke down. It was very clear to see that they served aggressive and took us out of system."

Kate Wagner had 4 aces and 9 service points, but she was just one of many Hilltoppers who played well.

"We're trying to finish strong. It's important we put all phases of our game together now," Hilltoppers coach Peter Mastandrea said. "I think it was important for me, especially with this group, to recognize them as starters. They've been pivotal and they've ben unselfish allowing the mixture of our kids. We've got some extremely talented younger kids."

Glenbard West had 12 kills and just one attack error in the first game. For the match the balanced attack saw Kahn and Stirb each record 5 kills - one fewer than team-leader Burelbach - and Sackett added 4 kills.

"It was a lot of fun," said Kahn, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter. "That wasn't our normal starting lineup, but we took it and ran with it. With playoffs coming up we've got to keep moving, keep looking ahead. I think our team is good when we work together."

Schilling, the team's top player, entered the match with the Hilltoppers up 10-9, and the junior helped spark a 15-2 run to close out the game. She finished the night with 3 kills, 7 service points, an ace and 3 digs.

After the weekend tourney at Glenbard East, the Hilltoppers will play Hinsdale Central next week with second place in the West Suburban Silver on the line.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.