Girls volleyball: Glenbard West rebounds, beats Glenbard East
One team has yet to have the entire team make a practice or a match, and the other is not sure how many players will be around over spring break. That said, both Glenbard West and Glenbard East are glad just to have any type of volleyball season in 2020-21.
The two programs squared off Wednesday night in Lombard and the visiting Hilltoppers improved to 3-1 on the spring with a 25-11, 25-21 nonconference victory. Glenbard West, which dropped a tough 3-setter the previous night against Downers Grove North, jumped ahead 12-4 in the opener before cruising, but was pushed to the limit by the Rams in the second set before completing the sweep.
"I like where we're at," veteran Hilltoppers coach Pete Mastandrea said. "We've got real good leadership from our seniors and a lot of strong younger players. This is a fun group of kids so I'm glad I decided not to retire just yet."
Glenbard West junior middle blocker Makayla Webber and sophomore setter Katherine Creswell led the offense, but freshmen Avery Herbert and Marin Johnson each added five kills. Webber, a 6-foot-2 middle blocker, had 6 kills while Creswell, a team captain, recorded 21 assists on the night.
"We're just excited we have a season. I had a few doubts," said Webber. "We're coming around with our setting and hitting but we'll keep working on it. A lot of players will be out over spring break so we'll just have to see what we can do."
For Glenbard East, Wednesday brought the team's first loss after a pair of wins, despite six kills and two blocks from junior outside hitter Keri Hrouda, and 10 digs from senior libero Julie Slusher.
The Rams trailed just 6-3 in the first set following a kill from Cassie Schweikle, but West followed with a Creswell-to-Johnson kill that started an 8-2 run that put the visitors in command. The second set was tied at 10-10 and later the Hilltoppers had just a 21-19 lead before finishing off East.
"Props to them," Rams coach Marci Maier said. "West played real balanced today. We played much better in the second set but we've got to execute our serve receive better."
The Glenbard East coach added that it's been a struggle at times with shorter practices and players absent, but that it is indeed nice to get out on the court for some matches after the fall campaign was postponed.
"COVID is what it is," she said. "Every team has players in and out but we're happy to be playing."
For West newcomer Herbert, it's great to be a part of the varsity even if it's a shortened season.
"I feel like the team is finally coming together and we're all working well together," she said. "It's just good to be able to play. Anything game wise is exciting just to play."