Glenbard West heads to sectional final with win over St. Francis

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Glenbard West coach Christine Meyer likes the makeup of her team.

Her close-knit group has used its closeness to achieve great success this season, and it continued during Friday’s Hinsdale Central Sectional semifinal against St. Francis.

After earning a hard-fought, 25-22 decision in Game 1, the Hilltoppers never looked back in Game 2, decisively winning 25-16 to advance to Tuesday’s title match against Naperville Central.

“I’m so proud of them,” Hilltoppers coach Christine Mayer said. “This team is old, young and everything in between. In the beginning of the year, I was trying to figure out chemistry and how to work with each other and then I realized they all liked each other. That’s when I knew this was going to work.”

Glenbard West (32-6) didn’t make many mistakes all evening, while St. Francis (31-7) never appeared to get into the flow of the style of game it’s excelled at this spring.

“It was back and forth all night, but we were playing flat,” Spartans coach Mike Lynch said. “We came off a big regional and a great practice yesterday, but just didn’t come out and play. We were out of our system a lot and our passing was off the net, while they passed fantastic all night long.”

Paul Bischoff recorded 32 assists to pace Glenbard West.

“Coming off a loss from our last match against them really drove us to get revenge on them,” Bischoff said. “And the atmosphere was insane. Everyone was going crazy, and we had a huge crowd and were cheering on every point. There was so much energy on the court.”

Jackson Nagle led the Hilltoppers with 10 kills, while Kyler Kotsakis had seven, and Kyle Blane and Parker Swartz had six apiece. Alec Roberts led the team with 16 digs while Andrew Roberts had nine digs.

“Today our motto was to keep the ball on the court, no matter what you do,” Mayer said. “We wanted to force them to do the work. I’m not sure how many errors we had, but it was not many.”

Loyola recruit Jeff Jendryk contributed 16 kills for the Spartans while Robert Smith had 24 assists.

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