Boys volleyball: Glenbard West's hot play continues with Brother Rice tournament title
The Glenbard West boys volleyball team is on a roll.
The Hilltoppers just hope to ride their current hot streak until the final volleyball match of the season at Hoffman Estates High School.
The Hilltoppers gained another milestone by capturing first place in the Brother Rice Tournament last week. The Hilltoppers handed Marist, which won the Warren Invite, it's first defeat of the season and avenged an early loss to Lincoln-Way East.
Glenbard West coach Christine Giunta-Mayer said her captains, Trevor Powell and Gavin Swartz, led the way.
"Trevor Powell and Gavin Swartz were awarded all-tournament," she said. "We were down our six-rotation outside hitter, captain Danny Dorsey, but the rest of the players had to stepped up to help fill the void, and stepped up they did. We are improving and we have a great group of kids on the team who truly value each other.
"We've had a lot of obstacles this year with injuries and illnesses. We're taking it day by day. Our goals are to adjust and adapt to everything that's thrown our way, so we can handle pressure cooker situations, like we've been all season."
Giunta-Mayer credited all of her captains for helping lift the Hilltoppers to 17 wins in their first 18 games, including a 2-0 record in the West Suburban Silver.
"Senior setter Trevor Powell is playing in his first year on the varsity," she said. He's playing as if it's his first and last season. Senior Gavin Swartz is the last of his three brothers. His oldest brother was on our first state title team n 2015, his other brother took 2nd place. Now Gavin is playing like it's his last shot for Swartz brothers. He has an incredible family and he represents his family well!
Senior libero Kenny Gibson is an incredible mentor to the younger players. He has been sharing his knowledge of the game with them, and they are listening to his every word. He's an incredible teammate, captain and friend to all of the players. Danny Dorsey is a multipurpose player who had literally played every position, except the setter role. He filled in at all positions, whatever we need on that day. Sam Alles -is our energy guy, He's grown so much in the past year, and now his range in the backcourt is extraordinary. He's not afraid to dive on the floor and gives us 100 percent. He's a true competitor."
Wheaton North on fire:
Wheaton North is also another team playing at a high level at the midway point of the season. The Falcons have won 16 of their first 21 matches, while owning a 2-0 record in DuKane Conference action. Wheaton North placed third out of 24 teams in the Tiger Classic hosted by Wheaton Warrenville South earlier this month.
"Captains Will Trussell and Jack Rambasek complemented each other perfectly by leading the offense and defense with 52 tournament kills and 52 tournament digs," Wheaton North coach John Noe IV said. "Senior outside hitter, Charley Machis, earned all-tournament honors. Senior setter, Josh Schmitt, was recently named Player of the Week by MaxPreps for the Midwest region of the country. "The team is gelling, the energy is high and we feel we are right where we want to be at the midpoint of our season. Now that DuKane Conference play has just begun for us, we're hoping to take our high level of competitive play and translate it into another conference title for Wheaton North to go with our last one from 2019."
With five wins in 14 matches, Montini is aiming to finish the season with a strong push to build momentum for the playoffs. The Broncos have a minor roadblock, losing their last four matches heading into a key home battle against Mt. Carmel.
"My hopes were for us to be very good," Montini coach Brian Opoka said. "We have four club players -- all playing positions for us that they do not play at club. But we've been derailed by our best player, Andrew Briones, rolling an ankle three weeks ago. We've been trying to fill his void with anybody and everybody."
Opoka said Briones is expected to be cleared to return to the court in the near future, which he's hoping will all the team enough time to build their chemistry.
"We play to win the conference each year," he said. "We're in line to compete for it again. We're a in a good place for us as we prepare for our conference matches."