Boys volleyball: Glenbard West cruises in state quarterfinals

Danny Dorsey made numerous highlight-reels plays throughout Friday's state quarterfinal match against St. Ignatius.

But the hard-hitting Dorsey save his biggest celebration for an unexpected play.

Early in the second game, Dorsey - in the front row - relied on an underhand punch kill to get the ball barely over the net.

After watching the ball land on the ground for a point, Dorsey celebrated by running around in a small circle while raising his knees up high.

"I've never done (play) that," Dorsey said. "We have different plays we run, and we had some miscommunication and it was set really low. I just tried to save it, and it was hilarious. There's no term for it: A creative play. I was just trying to save it, and when it went down by the net, it was hysterical for a second."

Indeed, Friday's state quarterfinals was a perfect place to revel in the moment for the Hilltoppers.

Dorsey had 9 kills, Trevor Powell tallied 19 assists and Kenny Gibson collected 5 digs to lead top-ranked Glenbard West to a 25-19, 25-15 victory over St. Ignatius at Hoffman Estates High School.

The Hilltoppers (37-3) advance to Saturday's 10 a.m. semifinal against the winner of Libertyville and Oak Park-River Forest.

By defeating St. Ignatius (28-9) in 45 minutes, the Hilltoppers moved a step closer to their first state title since winning three straight championships from 2015-2017. The Hilltoppers have reached the Elite Eight for eight straight seasons.

"This year has been fun to make it back to Hoffman Estates, so a legacy of eight years now," Glenbard West junior outside hitter Parker Moorhead said.

The Hilltoppers took some time to warm up against the Wolfpack, falling behind 6-5 in the first game before Dorsey started pounding down kills to demoralize the first-time state participants.

Powell had a key kill and a block in the middle of the second game to help expand the lead to 18-12. Moorhead finished with 5 kills and Liam O'Neill had 4 kills for the Hilltoppers.

The Hilltoppers admitted they've been focused on ending the program's state-title drought.

"I don't feel like it's much pressure, but I feel like we're all excited for the opportunity to show up at state and play for our school," Glenbard West senior Gavin Swartz said. "We're happy to be here."

St. Ignatius made a few runs to make the game closer in both games, but the Hilltoppers flexed their muscles and pulled away each time. St. Ignatius senior outside hitter Lucas Mack had a team-high 8 kills.

"They are really good," Mack said. "When they go on those runs that we know they are going to go on, it's tough to break it and keep that moral. I think we did a good job of keeping the moral high, But they are No. 1 for a reason."

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