Breese Mater Dei opened Game 1 on a 9-0 run, then used a 14-4 run to extend a 5-4 lead in Game 2 on its way to a 25-9, 25-13 victory over Marian Central in the IHSA Class 3A championship match Saturday.
Updated: November 12, 2011 7:14PM
NORMAL – There probably wasn’t much Marian Central could have done to stop the well-oiled machine that was Breese Mater Dei Saturday at Redbird Arena.
The Knights (39-3) opened Game 1 on a 9-0 run, then used a 14-4 run to extend a 5-4 lead in Game 2 on their way to a 25-9, 25-13 victory over the Hurricanes in the IHSA Class 3A championship match.
The state title was the school’s seventh and the first for rookie coach Chad Rakers, who succeeded his father Fred, the architect of the previous six championships
“It feels awesome,” he said. “That’s No. 7 for the school. The other numbers don’t matter. The only thing that mattered was getting these girls back to where they belonged.”
On the other side of the floor, Marian Central’s Abby Gilleland could have envisioned a better ending to a brilliant career that included the school’s first two state trophies.
“It was hard (to find any holes in the Mater Dei defense),” she said. “It’s disappointing. I feel like I didn’t do enough. You can’t blame it on any one person or any one position. It just didn’t come together today.”
Marian Central coach Laura Watling said that she wasn’t discouraged when her team fell behind 9-0 in the first game, because that was something the Hurricanes have done with regularity.
“Anybody who has watched us knows that that’s something we do, if not the first game, then the second,” she said. “We like to get in horrible holes. I felt we had a good mentality coming in. We just didn’t have it (physically).
“I wish we could have been able to fight a little more,” she added. “But Mater Dei is a heckuva great team. You can’t afford to have an off-day against them.”
Meredith Patterson and Emma Hussey each had three kills to lead Marian Central (35-7). Brooke Schulte, one of four senior starters for Mater Dei, had 10 kills.
“The passing was perfect, the hitters were amazing, there’s not one thing I could say to someone that they did something wrong,” Schulte said.
In the third-place match, Haley Gable had seven kills and Carly Warner and Daiva Wise each added five kills as St. Francis (35-7) defeated Marian Catholic 25-20, 25-11. The victory extended St. Francis coach Peg Kopec’s streak of consecutive state appearances without suffering back-to-back losses to 10. Sophomore Amber Clay had seven kills for Marian Catholic (24-18).