By Pat Brozynski

Don't count out the Mighty Macs

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So when was the last time Mother McAuley began a season 3-3?

Mother McAuley's 26-24, 25-17 loss to St. Francis on September 17 left the Macs at 3-3 with a three consecutive losses to Sandburg, Marist and the Spartans. A short two seasons ago, the Macs started the season 2-3 with losses to Downers Grove South, Sandburg and Marist.

That year, Mother McAuley, led by Melissa Joyce and juniors Kelly Griffin and Catherine Wildner, bounced back to win 32 of its next 36 matches, advancing to the state championship game before falling to Naperville Central.

McAuley coach Jen DeJarld believes this team can achieve similar success.

"I'm really proud of the way the girls played against a high caliber team," she said after the loss to St. Francis. "They have some college-level hitters. We have some youth and inexperience."

Seniors Paulna Sambor and Jessica Galotta are McAley's only players with significant experience.

"But I'm really excited about where we're at right now," DeJarld said."I'm in a comfort zone with this group. We'll just build and grow from here."

DeJarld has reason to be excited about her young players. Sophomore setter Ryan Arundel had eight assists, four kills, a block and an ace against St. Francis. Junior Mary Kate Styler had a team-high five kills.

Junior middle Maddie McElroy played well off the bench. Junior setter Kailey Scott had three assists when McAuley went to a 6-2. And senior outside Jessica Falk is coming off a season where she spent most of the year on the bench because of injury.

"We flip in and out between a 6-2 and a 5-1," DeJarld said. "But we try not to do too many sophisticated things because we're young."

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6 Comments

Marist is the new McCauley. Benet will win 4A. Looked better than last year at Wheaton Classic. Watch out for Nequa out of Naperville. With one of the best senior setters in state and a solid vetern team looked great against Hinsdale. Should have won it. Benet and Joliet C
should be a war. I bet on Benet.

While I haven't seen McCauley yet this year, Marist does, in fact, look solid. I don't know that I'd give it to Benet just yet. I saw last year's squad several times as well as this year's squad...there's no comparison. Last year's had more power and played at a much higher level with much fewer mental errors. Nequa is also very solid but they don't have a dominating presence in the middle.

Marist will do well until they play some tall, solid smart outside hitters who can take advantage of a 5'5" setter in a 5-1. No State tournament for Marist.

That year, Mother McAuley, led by Melissa Joyce and juniors Kelly Griffin and Catherine Wildner, bounced back to win 32 of its next 36 matches, advancing to the state championship game before falling to Naperville Central.

High School: Led Mother McAuley High School to a second-place finish at the Illinois Class 4A State Championship during her senior season... Was chosen as the No. 4 libero in the nation and a first-team All-American by PrepVolleyball.com after tallying 553 digs her senior season, leading her team to a 34-8 record... Was honored as a member of the Chicago Tribune's All-State first team and was second team All-State Chicago Sun Times, first team All-Conference and All-Area in the state of Illinois...Put up equally impressive numbers in her junior season when she compiled 473 digs... Honor Roll Student.

VB Follower 2, you obviously have not paid much attention to who Marist plays during the season. The setter is 5'7". They play a tough schedule and play in the best conference in the state. No matter what happens in the state tournament, these girls have already won something more important than any win or trophy. What they have overcome thru personal tragedies have brought a young team together to play very well against a vey tough schedule.

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This page contains a single entry by Back Row published on September 19, 2009 8:30 AM.

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