Short-handed Marist easily handles Hornets
Updated: August 24, 2011 9:20PM
Marist is a very good team. Marist will be even better when 6-foot-4 middle hitter Lauren Zielinski is fully recovered from surgery to her right shoulder.
But even without their big presence in the middle Wednesday against Hinsdale South, Marist played like a great team.
Mallory Salis had eight kills, four aces and seven digs, Kelly Marcinek had eight kills, Kirsten Ivkovic had six kills and a block and Ashley Holder added 23 assists as the RedHawks whipped Hinsdale South 25-21, 25-15 in the season opener for both teams in Darien.
“We lost Lauren, but like any team a new athlete is ready to come in,” Salis said. “Kirsten did a great job, and Kelly and I played together in club. She’s awesome. She knows what she’s talking about and she’s ready to put the ball down. Both of them are.”
A kill by Jessica Brezwyn and three consecutive errors by Marist allowed Hinsdale South to ease to a 13-10 lead in Game 1. Marist recovered to take a 15-13 advantage on Elyse Panick’s kill off the top of the block, but the hosts regained a 19-18 edge on a block by Jackie Adelphia.
A service error by the Hornets gave Marist a 21-20 lead, but another kill by Brezwyn pulled the Hornets even at 21-21. The RedHawks then reeled off three consecutive points and Marcinek’s kill at 24-21 put Hinsdale South down a set.
“It does get a little nerve-wracking when its that tight, but you can’t let the score get to your head,” Salis said. “You have to focus on what you’re going to do next, what the next play is going to be. You have to take one point at a time. That’s how our mindset works.”
Salis had her service working in Game 2. The third of three consecutive aces gave the RedHawks an 8-1 lead. A kill by Ivkovic extended the lead to 15-5 and the Hornets never challenged the rest of the way.
“Hinsdale South is a very good team,” Salis said. “A lot of my good friends play on Hinsdale South, so I knew coming in it was going to be a dogfight. I think what we did was we focused on controlling on our side of the net.”
Defensively, Marist got 14 digs from 5-foot-7 senior Dana Loncar, who has the unenviable task of replacing the graduated Caroline Niedospial. Niedospial was widely regarded as one of the top liberos in the country last year.
“Carks (Niedospial) was probably one of the biggest role models in my life,” Loncar said. “Her and (former defensive specialist Molly) Murphy are the ones I look up to. Now that I’m in her spot, it’s a big honor. They’re big shoes to fill, but I’m going to get there.”
Brezwyn finished with eight kills for the Hornets, but Melissa Nava was limited to two kills (both in Game 2) and no one else had more than one.
“Marist is a good team,” Hinsdale South coach Lisa Martinez said. “But we had too many unforced errors in Game 1. Finally, when we get an opportunity to start our offense and started getting into a flow, then our passing goes down the tubes.
“I’m not happy with the way we played. I’m not going to try to salvage it. We fell off the horse tonight. We have a big tournament this weekend. Do we get back on the horse and go and win this tournament, or do we stay down?
“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” Martinez added.