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Girls Volleyball: Offense? Defense? Mother McAuley’s Ryann DeJarld has the floor covered

Ryann DeJarld Mother McAuley | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media

Ryann DeJarld, of Mother McAuley | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 6, 2013 6:24AM



That the daughter of Mother McAuley coach Jen DeJarld became a high school volleyball player hardly is a surprise.

But it didn’t have to be.

“I always was a really big tomboy and I really liked soccer and softball when I was little,” Ryann DeJarld said. “I had a couple of phases when I was little where I said I wasn’t going to play volleyball.

“When I started playing club volleyball in fifth grade, that’s when I knew it was going to be the only sport.”

DeJarld, 17, of Evergreen Park, is in her second season on the Mighty Macs varsity. The junior outside hitter has put up big numbers in multiple categories, the biggest being 183 kills, 64 aces and 248 digs as Mother McAuley (35-2) has gone unbeaten thus far against Illinois competition.

If you ask her, DeJarld likes playing defense the most.

“I always like a good dig. I’d rather get a hard-driven ball up than put one down,” she said, laughing.

On offense, however, she has an uncanny knack for finding the open spot and the ability to make snap decisions and deliver with both feet off the ground.

Her jump-serve, however, is the real eye-opener.

“I’ve tried every serve in the book,” DeJarld said. “I’ve jump-served, jump-floated. I stayed on the ground my whole freshman year.

“Last year at the end of the year I started jump-serving again, and our coaches really helped me reach high and hit it at the peak of my jump.”

DeJarld has been a part of the Mother McAuley community longer than most of the Macs. It’s what happens when Mom is the coach.

“Oh, my gosh, I used to memorize the lineups and the rosters,” DeJarld said. “My sister (Jane) and I would go to the practices and play pepper. We just loved the girls. They were our baby sitters.

“It was just a really great atmosphere, with the players and all of the coaches.”

The repetitions continued at home.

“The reason I got good was just from picking up a volleyball and playing against the wall in my room, passing, serving, hitting,” she said. “That’s how you learn volleyball, honestly, doing little things on your own.”

DeJarld started on the junior varsity as a freshman. She joined four other sophomores — Carla Cahill, Maggie Scanlon, Kelsey Clarke and Kennedy Arundel — in making the leap to the varsity and leading the Mighty Macs to third place in Class 4A in 2012.

“I was just really proud of us,” DeJarld said. “As sophomores, we just weren’t afraid of playing anyone older than us. We had been playing against 18-year-olds (in club) for a few years. We were just having fun.”

And starting a run that’s far from done.



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