Girls Volleyball: Marist manages middle in topping Marian Catholic
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org October 8, 2013 8:08PM
Updated: October 8, 2013 10:35PM
Lizzie Zaleski pretty much is larger than life from the right side when it comes to Marist’s power-hitting game.
The middle, however, also is a pretty productive area of the court among the foursome of Leah Gbur, Ann Marie Stifter, Maggie Hughes and Colleen Reilly.
Tuesday, it was Gbur’s time to shine in Marist’s 25-8, 25-19 East Suburban Catholic victory over visiting Marian Catholic. The 6-foot Gbur put down six kills and had two blocks as the RedHawks improved to 18-7, 5-0.
“She works hard all the time,” Marist coach Julie Popp-Hopkins said of Gbur. “She’s one who will give you 100 percent every single day at practice. You can tell when she gets out there (on the court) that she has fun and brings that out in her teammates.”
Stifter had five kills, Carolyn Yerkes 10 digs and Molly Mayo 15 assists and three kills for the RedHawks.
Marian Catholic (11-14, 2-3) was led by Amber Clay (10 kills, 2 aces, 7 digs), Kendyl Todd (4 kills, 2 aces, 3 blocks) and Madeline Huekels (15 assists).
The RedHawks took momentum from a 4-1 weekend at the Asics Challenge and seized immediate control against Marian, racing to an 18-5 lead in the first set.
“We have a lot of confidence and we were really focused for this (conference) match,” Gbur said. “We want to win the whole thing.”
They attacked the Spartans in a variety of ways. The quick start was capped by a three-point run featuring back-to-back misdirection tips by Mayo and a third by the other RedHawks’ setter, Emily Coghlan.
“We’re doing a little more tipping,” Mayo said. “We’re kind of trying to peak at the end of the season, and there are some things that we still need to tweak.
“We really didn’t get as many points before (by tipping). When it’s open and there’s no blockage, it’s always an easy point.”
Marian, led by the 5-11 Clay, made a match of it in the second set. It was 20-11 Marist when Clay ripped back-to-back kills to start a run that peaked when a block for kill by Todd got the Spartans to within 23-19. The RedHawks, however, got the serve back and Sarah Lowery landed a clean match-ending ace.
“The second game was a little more of what I expect from us,” Marian coach Ryan Summers said. “We lost, but respectably. They’re ahead of us right now.”