GCAC tournament is put to rest
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org October 22, 2012 7:04PM
Updated: November 24, 2012 6:11AM
A long winning streak came to an end Saturday when St. Ignatius defeated Mother McAuley 25-18, 15-25, 25-23 in the championship match of the GCAC Red Tournament.
The last time Mother McAuley was beaten in the GCAC Red was 2002, by Queen of Peace.
In all, the Mighty Macs have won 32 of the 38 tournaments held for the GCAC’s top division. Queen of Peace ranks second in titles with three.
St. Ignatius, however, will hold the status as the last champion.
Coaches voted and athletic directors approved ending the annual tournament. Division champions will be determined by the regular-season matches.
“We’ve been talking about it for years,” McAuley coach Jen DeJarld said. “I’ve been pushing for it, and I’m so glad. The outright winner during the season should be the conference champion. Plus, I’d rather get in a different tournament and see different teams.”
The Mighty Macs (30-4) are the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A Lincoln-Way Central Sectional. They open regional play on Tuesday.
In Saturday’s loss to St. Ignatius, unforced errors cost McAuley.
“We have not been playing well the last couple of weeks,” DeJarld said. “The games we’ve been winning we’ve been winning ugly. It’s just like the ebb and flow of the season. We’re just kind of on the down slope right now. We need to get up pretty soon and get it out of our system because we can’t lose anymore.”
Sizzling in the Southwest
Marist reigned supreme at the Nike National Tournament of Champions, held over the weekend in Phoenix. Marist won all five matches, including a title-clinching 25-19, 25-23 decision over St. Joseph Academy of Missouri. Senior Mallory Salis was chosen the tournament MVP.
“She was hitting over, around and through athletes that are going to attend Florida State, University of California and Pepperdine,” Marist coach Natalie Holder said. “There were so many coaches asking me about our team but also commenting on Mal and how much fun she is to watch compete.”
Earlier in the week, Marist finished off a 9-0 ESCC campaign with a victory over Benet.