Girls volleyball: Marist responds to “big-match” Mother McAuley challenge
Updated: November 1, 2011 9:09PM
For Mallory Salis, it was old hat.
At 13 kills and 12 digs she was, as usual, big-match ready for Marist in the No. 3 RedHawks’ 23-25, 25-16, 15-17 victory over No. 1 Mother McAuley in Tuesday night’s first Class 4A sectional semifinal at Andrew.
But for Kelly Marcinek, it was something different.
“This is my first year,” she said. “I’ve never been through these big games. I love it now. It’s experience. I learned tonight. We’re ready.”
Marcinek, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, had eight kills and three blocks, and was a major thorn in McAuley’s side.
Others helping the RedHawks (32-6) earn a spot in Thursday’s sectional final included Kirsten Ivkovic (7 kills, 7 blocks), Rachel Dalton (6 kills), Elyse Panick (5 kills, 4 blocks), Carolyn Yerkes (12 digs) and Ashley Holder (36 assists, 18 digs).
Jackie Aird had 20 digs, Sydney McPhillips six kills and 14 digs, Ryann Arundel eight kills and Courtney Joyce 32 assists for McAuley (32-6).
There was a day-and-night difference between Game 1 and Games 2 and 3.
A confident McAuley, which had beaten Marist in two games at the Rich East Invitational, came out swinging, especially the 5-9 Phillips.
The Mighty Macs never led by much, but trailed only briefly. A slight change in momentum occurred late in Game 1 when Marist rallied from 24-21 to get to within 24-23, but a kill from the right side by the left-handed-hitting Arundel clinched for McAuley.
Things rapidly changed in Game 2, as Marcinek and Salis began slicing away and Ivkovic stood tall at the net.
The RedHawks broke a 6-all tie with a 6-0 run in Game 2. Unforced errors began piling up for the Mighty Macs. McAuley hung tough in Game 3 until at 16-15, when Ivkovic started a runaway for Marist with a block and a kill.
“Our blocking … we worked on everything at practice,” Ivkovic said. “And it showed in our game. I’ve never had this many blocks in a game.”