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Rams claim second in their own Springfest event

The Glenbard East boys volleyball team won four straight matches at its own 16-team Springfest tournament to advance to the championship contest of Saturday’s one-day event in Lombard. The Rams faced Glenbard West in the title match, which lasted three games. Glenbard East won the opening game, but the Hilltoppers won the next two games to earn a 21-25, 25-17, 25-18 victory and the first-place plaque.
“They’re the best team that we’ve played all season,” said Glenbard East senior Sterling Glover of the Hilltoppers. “We were able to play to our best ability throughout the match. I don’t think we were tired. I don’t think it was any mistakes that we made. They executed better than we did at the end.”
The Hilltoppers held a 13-11 lead midway through the third game. They won six of the next nine points to take a 19-14 lead. The Rams then won four consecutive points to cut Glenbard West’s lead to 19-18. The Hilltoppers closed out the match by winning six straight points.
Glover connected for a team-leading 11 kills in the title match against Glenbard West. Junior Jamie Wareham provided six kills, while junior Nick Symonds made five kills. Junior Ben Symonds piled up 30 digs. The Rams’ two setters—senior Cory Soehren and junior Andrew Hurlburt—contributed 11 assists apiece in the championship match.
“We let them [the Hilltoppers] get a little run,” said Glenbard East coach Marci Maier in describing the decisive third game against Glenbard West. “We were down in that third game, and I’ve got to give my kids credit for fighting back to make it a ball game and to give ourselves an opportunity to win.”
The Rams’ overall season record stood at 9-4 following Saturday’s five matches. Glenbard East split its first two matches of the DuPage Valley Conference season last week. The Rams beat West Aurora 25-12, 25-15 on April 8. Glenbard East’s DVC record dropped to 1-1 after Thursday’s 25-19, 25-16 loss to Naperville Central.
“We played awful against Naperville Central,” said Maier. “It was not a good display of volleyball.”
Maier was pleased with the Rams’ comeback from Thursday’s poor showing with a strong effort throughout Saturday’s tournament. She praised the solid play of Glenbard East’s reserve players, whose performance allowed her to rest the starters during the five-match day.
“Our bench came through for us,” she said. “We had our best match in match five [against Glenbard West] and it just wasn’t enough. They played great and I thought we played well, too.”
Glenbard East won two-game decisions against each of its first four opponents in the tournament. The Rams opened the event with a 25-15, 25-13 victory over Romeoville. Glenbard East’s next match was a convincing 25-15, 25-8 win against Hinsdale South. The Rams then beat Glenbard North 25-14, 25-13. Glenbard East edged Downers Grove South 25-21, 25-21 in the semifinal round. Glover and Nick Symonds each delivered five kills against the Mustangs. Wareham made four blocks, while Ben Symonds turned in 12 digs. Soehren and Hurlburt each handed out seven assists.

 
   
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