Girls State Volleyball: Mother McAuley tops New Trier to reach Class 4A final
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org November 15, 2013 10:52PM
McAuley players celebrate after defeating New Trier in the Class 4A IHSA State Semifinals in Normal on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media
At Redbird Arena, Normal
Crystal Lake South 22-18
Mother McAuley 32-22-25,
New Trier 30-25-15
Third place: Crystal Lake South (37-4) vs. New Trier (27-3),
7:25 p.m. Saturday
Championship: Benet (36-5)
vs. Mother McAuley (39-2),
8:55 p.m. Saturday
Updated: December 18, 2013 6:39AM
NORMAL — Mother McAuley’s Ryann DeJarld pronounced it “Definitely one of the funnest games I’ve been in this year. It’s why we came to play.”
To be challenged, that is.
And in Friday night’s Class 4A semifinal against New Trier, the Mighty Macs had all they could handle, especially in Sets 1 and 2.
Once that drama cleared, it was one set each. Then the Mighty Macs put their foot down, pretty much dominating in Set 3 en route to a 32-30, 22-25, 25-15 victory.
McAuley (39-2) will meet defending Class 4A champion Benet (36-5) at 8:55 p.m. Saturday in search of its 14th state title.
DeJarld had a whopping 20 kills to go along with nine digs, while Kelsey Clark (10 kills), Carla Cahill (21 digs), Mallory Maxwell (9 digs), Kayla Caffey (7 kills), Courtney Joyce (37 assists, 6 kills) and Kennedy Arundel (5 kills) also starred for McAuley.
Haley Fauntleroy (10 kills), Taylor Tashima (8 kills, 20 assists, 16 digs), Emmy Friedler (20 digs) and Sarah Shafiq (7 kills) led New Trier (32-4).
The match was a battle of defenses: New Trier at the net with its huge front line of 6-foot-5 Shafiq, 6-4 Fauntleroy and 6-foot Tashima, and McAuley in the backcourt with Cahill, Maxwell, DeJarld and others who chipped in for a total of 70 digs.
“Mother McAuley did really well in that aspect,” Tashima said. “I hope they go on to take it because they’re a really good team.”
The first set saw McAuley rally from a 12-8 deficit to have six chances to close it out. New Trier had two.
“You don’t feel tired, you just feel like you win to need the game right now,” Joyce said. “At one point I turned around and said, ‘This is the point. We’re going to end it.’ ”
It finally did end with McAuley catching a break when New Trier committed two consecutive unforced errors to turn a 30-29 advantage into a 31-30 deficit. Then, Joyce and Clark worked their quick-set to perfection, Clark delivering the set-winning kill.
The rush of momentum didn’t come for the Mighty Macs, however. New Trier, with Fauntleroy dominating at the net, ran off to a 13-5 lead in Set 2.
McAuley fought back and got to within a point on two occasions, but Tashima came up big with two kills to stop the flood, and Shafiq secured the set with two late spikes to the floor.
Again, however, the momentum didn’t stay with the winner.
McAuley started Set 3 with a 5-0 run, Clark putting down another quick-set from Joyce and DeJarld finding a soft spot in the Trevians defense.
It was only then when McAuley truly got into a rhythm, Arundel producing two kills during a 4-0 run, with the Macs able to trade points pretty much the rest of the way.
“It took a while,” Clark said with a smile. “The first set we were just working on things, getting used to the hitters on the other side with the blocking and such.
“I haven’t been up against such a big block. But we adjusted. We had to hit high-handed instead of the way we usually do ... straight down. We had to mix up our shots more often, be more court aware.”