Marian Catholic survives Peace rallyMarian Catholic's Nicole Manno picks up a Queen of Peace serve.
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 17, 2011 9:22PM
Marian Catholic has designs on making it to state, and the Spartans certainly have the potential.
They’re the No. 1 seed in their own Class 3A sectional, and they’ve scored impressive wins over quality teams such as Lincoln-Way North, Lincoln-Way West, Lemont and Chicago Christian.
If there is an issue it might be closing out games.
“It’s something we can definitely work on,” outside hitter Amber Clay said after Marian survived two late Queen of Peace rallies to prevail 25-21, 25-22 Monday in Burbank.
Clay led the way for the Spartans (18-15) with 10 kills, while Kendyl Todd (5 kills, 4 blocks), Colleen Rynne (18 assists) and Nicole Manno (14 digs, 3 aces) also starred.
Allyson Murray had nine kills and three blocks, Kristi Gierman nine digs, Katie Hannon four digs and three kills and Sam Bies nine assists for Queen of Peace (9-21).
The Spartans handily beat Queen of Peace in two games at the Mother McAuley Preview. In both games on Monday they threatened to do the same, breaking away twice from 12-12 ties.
In Game 1 it was Manno serving when Todd put down a block and a kill during a 7-0 streak. Up 23-15, the Spartans then committed five unforced errors, which allowed Queen of Peace to get to within three.
Game 2 was even more startling, as the Pride rallied from a 23-14 deficit to make it 24-22 before a tip for kill by Kelsey Clark ended it.
Marian Catholic hasn’t had a winning season since 2003. The year before the Spartans won 31 matches and advanced to the Class AA Elite Eight.
“We’ve improved as a team and individually,” Clay said. “Everyone has worked really hard all year and it’s starting to come together.
“We’ve had a losing streak, and that’s why people haven’t been talking about us. Hopefully, we’ll be known again and get our name back out there by the end (of the season).”
Queen Peace welcomed back outside hitter Katie Rotkovich, who had been out with a hand injury since the Rich East Invitational. Peace is the No. 5 seed at the Marian Catholic Sectional.
“She’s been doing all of the conditioning with us, but none of the volleyball stuff,” Pride coach Anne Malone said of Rotkovich, a senior. “I think when she gets used to playing with their girls and they get used to her being back on the court, who knows? Anything can happen.”
Morgan Park Academy 25-25, Ag. Science 18-13: Kelly Sorfleet had nine kills for host Morgan Park Academy (19-8).
Hillcrest 25-25, Rich East 13-17: Hillcrest posted the victory in Park Forest.
Contributing: Josh Krockey