LOMBARD – After two years of winless seasons in the DuPage Valley Conference, Glenbard East wasted no time getting a DVC win this season.
The Rams beat DVC newcomer Lake Park in the season opener to end the conference skid and even knocked off the school Lake Park replaced in the DVC, West Chicago, on Tuesday.
Glenbard East graduated eight seniors from a team that won just five matches last season, but the Rams are off to a 4-3 start thanks to senior outside hitter Meghan Hanewell and an infusion of younger club players.
Hanewell, who plays club ball with Sports Performance, is going on college visits to smaller Division I programs this month and hopes to have a decision by the winter.
“Last year we didn’t have many club players and this year everybody plays club,” Hanewell said. “I think the effort is better than it has been in the past.”
Hanewell had nine kills in the 25-21, 25-19 win over West Chicago. She is a four-year varsity starter and is taking over as the leader of the young squad.
“This is her year,” said coach Marci Maier. “She is leading the way and she is doing an awesome job.”
The Rams’ youth has still shown in early matches. Maier thinks the Rams let a couple matches slip away.
“We could easily be 6-1,” Maier said. “But they’re playing hard, they’re working hard, they’re learning as we go. I’m very happy with their progress so far.”
Four sophomores are in the regular rotation for the Rams, returning middle hitter Emily Hamaker and newcomers Viky Bozenovaite, Jessie Spontak and Allison Farrell. Farrell is the youngest of four Farrell siblings to play for Maier, the most recent of which was current Penn State freshman Joey Farrell.
Glenbard East at a glance
Conference: DuPage Valley Conference
Home court: 1014 S. Main St., Lombard
2012 record: 5-31, 0-14 DVC
Coach: Marci Maier
Top returners: Sam Bell jr. S Emily Hamaker so. MH Meghan Hanewall sr. OH Sarah Murphy jr. MH
Promising newcomers: Allison Achenbaugh jr. OH Viky Bozenovaite so. OH Allison Farrell so. OH Jessie Spontak so. DS