Girls State Volleyball: Mother McAuley stunned in semifinals
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org November 9, 2012 11:22PM
Mother McAuley's Molly Geary goes up against New Trier's Abbey Boyd during their volleyball state championship semi-final game at Redbird Arena in Normal, IL Friday, November 9, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:38AM
NORMAL — The winds of change weren’t subtle when they blew into Redbird Arena at the start of Set 2 in the Class 4A semifinal Friday between Mother McAuley and New Trier.
New Trier, a team back on its heels and not following its master plan, took the Mighty Macs by storm.
“We did not have our best match,” McAuley coach Jen DeJarld said after a stunning 16-25, 25-22, 25-19 loss left the Mighty Macs playing for a third-place trophy on Saturday.
Senior Brittani Steinberg, after a slow start, pounded out 15 kills for New Trier (39-1). Emmy Friedler (9 digs), Haley Fauntleroy (6 block assists) and Taylor Tashima (5 block assists) led a Trevians defense that shut down the Mighty Macs offense.
McAuley (35-5) was paced by Ryann DeJarld (11 kills, 9 digs), Molly Geary (6 kills), Carla Cahill (11 digs) and Courtney Joyce (25 assists).
The first set and the last two couldn’t have been any more different.
At 5-5 in Set 1, McAuley began to break it open when DeJarld put down a kill and then went to the service line, where she served for five more points. During that outburst, she landed two aces, while Geary added a kill. The Mighty Macs went on to lead by as many as nine points on three different occasions.
“We were very skittish at the beginning, but we worked it out,” Jen DeJarld said. “I was really proud of how we pulled out Game 1, took charge, served tough and executed.”
It all changed in Set 2.
Down 1-0 after an ace serve by Cahill, the Trevians responded with a 6-2 run. Steinberg, a 5-foot-11 senior, kept finding more and more holes from the outside. Fauntleroy, a 6-3 junior, made her biggest moves against McAuley with her aggressiveness defensively at the net.
“For me, it was pretty much all about intimidation,” Fauntleroy said. “Calling out the blocks through the net. Pointing to the hitters and trying to make eye contact with them so that they knew that I had the confidence I could shut them down with my blocks.”
Joyce said the Mighty Macs didn’t particularly notice Fauntleroy’s mannerisms, but very noticeable was the frustration they showed after being blocked several times.
“We had several missed serves and our hitters were not putting away balls we needed them to put away,” DeJarld said. “I think we just started worrying too much. Defensively, blocking and digging, we were a step too slow.”
The Trevians recorded 18 block assists. McAuley made 17 unforced errors in Set 2 and 30 for the match.
New Trier trailed just once in Set 3, at 2-1. It was 13-9 Trevians when they went on a 7-1 run, with four of the points coming on blocks by combinations of Fauntleroy, Maggie Carragher and Tashima.
“They had a very strong block,” Geary said. “Their block was big and it was tough to hit balls around. The shots really weren’t coming to us as we wished and we didn’t put the ball away.”
Benet 20-25-25, Libertyville 25-21-13: Benet (39-2) advanced to the title match behind Cara Mattaliano (12 kills), Brittany Pavich (11 kills) and Hannah Kaminsky (32 assists).
Wheaton-St. Francis 21-25-26, Champaign Centennial 25-20-24: Maddie Haggerty had 13 kills and Molly Haggerty 11 kills for Wheaton-St. Francis (36-5).
Richmond-Burton 19-27-25, Jacksonville 25-25-22: Ali Fratti (22 kills) and Kim Russell (10 kills) brought Richmond-Burton (37-4) back from one set down and one point from defeat in Set 2.