Marist gets the best of Mother McAuleyMcAuley # 17 Courtney Joyce and # 14 Lauren Grady battle at the net with Marist # 3 Dana Locar in game action at McAuley HS at 3737 W. 99th, Chicago, IL on Tuesday evening 9/13/11. Marist won the contest.|Judy Fidkowski~For Sun-Times Photo
Updated: September 13, 2011 9:38PM
Last year, Marist ended Mother McAuley’s playoff mystique.
Tuesday night, the RedHawks stole the Mighty Macs’ comeback magic in Game 1, then put on a power show in a 26-24, 25-17 victory before 2,000 screaming fans at McAuley.
Kelly Marcinek had eight kills and five digs, Mallory Salis seven kills and five digs, Kirsten Ivkovic six kills, Elyse Panick four kills and four blocks, Rachel Dalton five blocks, Ashley Holder 27 assists and 10 digs, and Dana Loncar 21 digs as No. 1 Marist improved to 6-0.
No. 2 Mother McAuley (3-2) was paced by Lizzy Scanlon (nine kills, 13 digs), Sydney McPhillips (six kills), Bridget Powell (17 digs) and Courtney Joyce (21 assists).
The victory was Marist’s eighth over McAuley in their last 10 regular-season meetings.
“I’ve got to say it’s pretty special (to beat McAuley),” Salis said. “They’re a great team, with unbelievable defense and outstanding hitters. It’s good competition.”
The Mighty Macs were more than Marist could handle for much of Game 1, bursting out to leads of 6-1 and 9-3 behind strong hitting by Scanlon. At 23-18 after a block by Lauren Grady, it looked over.
“To be honest, my nerves were pretty up there,” Salis said. “But you’ve got to take advantage of your nervousness and use everyone screaming at you to your advantage. It just pushes you to play harder, play stronger.”
Salis began what would be an incredible sequence by putting down a kill. She followed on the next volley with a block.
McAuley then committed a capital error when after a soft shot appeared to go down for a point, the Mighty Macs turned their backs to the net and started celebrating.
Marist middle back Deidre Howard, meanwhile, made a sliding attempt at the dig. The ball popped up to Abbi Anderson, who passed it to the front line. It was then free-balled over the net and fell to the ground.
The ruling by the officials was that the dig was good, the point awarded to Marist.
At 24-22 McAuley, Scanlon put the ball down the left side. Again, the Mighty Macs celebrated what they thought was the game-winning point, but instead were denied when it was ruled that the ball landed out of bounds.
Salis and Dalton then went back-to-back for kills, and Marist went on to complete an 8-1 comeback run.
McAuley coach Jen DeJarld’s take?
“I think there were two major missed calls and it cost us the (first) game,” she said. “I hate to sound like I’m blaming the game on the referees, but the game would have been over.
“I mean, I don’t know. The ball (on the first controversial play), to me, hit the ground. And then Lizzy ripped one down the line that was in by a foot.”
Marist raced to an early 8-3 lead in Game 2. The Mighty Macs fought back to a 13-13 tie, but the RedHawks responded big-time with kills by Panick and Marcinek, and back-to-back blocks by Dalton.
“The end of the first game took the wind out of our sails a little bit,” DeJarld said. “And that’s not OK. We’ve just got to learn how to rebound better. But the good thing is we’re making strides, and these are fixable things.”