The drive to five is still alive.
Second-seeded Glenbard East earned a fifth shot at DuPage Valley Conference rival Wheaton Warrenville South in Tuesday’s WW South Sectional championship by defeating Benet 25-10, 25-12 in a sectional semifinal Friday.
Four of Glenbard East’s six losses this season have come at the hands of the Tigers.
“We don’t have to beat them in a five-game series,” Glenbard East coach Marci Maier said. “All it takes is one.”
Joe Farrell had 10 kills, Matt Ploke added eight kills and Tim Shenkin had 10 assists and six kills for Glenbard East (32-6).
“We were moving the ball real well today,” said Ploke, a 6-3 outside hitter. “Our setters were putting the ball where it needed to go and we were putting the ball down. We played some awesome defense, too, with Matt Finder in the back row.”
Ploke almost went as far to say playing at WW South was like playing at home.
“We’ve been here many times,” he said. “Once more, for sure.”
Glenbard East led wire-to-wire in Game 1, but Benet (28-9) grabbed a 5-2 lead in Game 2 before the Rams came storming back with 5-8 senior setter Mike Heim at the service line. East took a 13-8 lead and extended it to 20-11 despite two Benet timeouts.
“We knew they were a good team by who they’ve beaten to come to this game,” Ploke said. “Beating those high-level teams (Naperville North and Glenbard West) really put their name out there.”
Benet got four kills and two blocks from Matt Conroy and four kills from Nate Parisi, but 6-5 outside hitter Bobby Wehrli was limited to three kills.
“We have been playing phenomenal volleyball and I’m sorry to say we didn’t tonight,” Benet coach Amy Van Eekeren said. “Glenbard East played outstanding. They were aggressive, their serving was phenomenal and their passing was great. My compliments to them.
“I just think this wasn’t remotely the way we’ve been playing, not even close to the way we’ve been playing,” she added. “We have a team full of seniors who have wanted this for a long time and they’ve been fighting all year. This doesn’t show the success we’ve had all year.”