Girls Volleyball: Marist rallies back to top Lyons
Updated: November 5, 2011 6:25PM
Marist’s quest Saturday to beat Lyons at the Class 4A Hinsdale South Supersectional and earn the program’s first-ever trip to state finals weekend turned into quite a journey.
First, the RedHawks won a Game 1 slugfest that was tied as late as 22-22.
Then, down 16-10 in Game 2, the defending state champs got up from the canvas and stole the momentum.
Lyons led Game 3 by as many as six points. Down 21-18, it looked like the 2011 RedHawks were going to have to get in line with the so many of the others who came so close, but failed.
Not this time.
“None of us were ready to end the season. We’re all just so driven. Nothing was going to get in our way,” junior Rachel Dalton said after Marist rallied for a dramatic 25-22, 21-25, 25-23 victory.
Mallory Salis had 16 kills and 10 digs, Kelly Marcinek 15 kills and seven digs, Carolyn Yerkes 18 digs and Ashley Holder 43 assists to lead the RedHawks (34-6) into Friday’s semifinals at Redbird Arena.
Alexis Viliunas (13 kills, 18 assists), Laura Williams (seven kills, five assists) and Megan Miller (20 digs) paced Lyons (30-9).
Marist’s breathtaking rally actually began with the Lions leading 19-13. Salis, who all season had been the step-up hitter for the RedHawks, responded with back-to-back kills.
Lyons briefly broke the momentum via a kill by Alyssa Keeve, but Salis, Marcinek and Dalton all were able to put the ball down for Marist to cut the gap to 20-18.
Lyons scored the next point on a kill by Hannah Juley, but then a critical service error followed by a hitting miscue allowed Marist to close within one.
The defensive play of the match, and quite possibly Marist’s season, followed when after a Lyons spike found its way through a pair of RedHawk blockers, Dalton sprawled to the floor toward the scorer’s table and brought the ball back up.
The subsequent set to Marcinek was perfect, and she crushed the ball for a game-tying kill.
“I saw (the ball) coming off of the block, and I knew I had to make a game-saver,” Dalton said.
Marcinek would add two more kills, Kirsten Ivkovic another, and at 24-23 Elyse Panick put down the final spike to bring Marist’s volleyball program to a new high.
“I wanted this so bad,” an emotional Marcinek said afterward. “When we were down, we thought about everybody we were doing this for. We were playing for our whole entire school, for everybody who started this program.”
The loss ended Lyons’ two-year run of state appearances.
“We had a great comeback and up by six points we were feeling pretty good,” Lions coach Joann Pyritz said. “But I think we started getting sort of tentative toward the end, and (Marist) scored some points when it mattered.
“We’ve been to state now two years in the championship game. We wanted to be there again. But this senior class really has achieved at a higher level than any other class we’ve had.”