Girls Volleyball: Mother McAuley captures Autumnfest title
By Phil Brozynski For Sun-Times Media October 19, 2013 7:56PM
Mother McAuley is listed as the seventh-best team in the country in the latest rankings by Prepvolleyball.com. It’s hard to imagine there are six teams that could have played any better than the Mighty Macs in rolling to the title at Saturday’s Autumnfest tournament hosted by Glenbard East.
McAuley (32-2) stormed past Loyola 25-17, 25-12 in the quarterfinals, weathered a second-game hiccup in the semifinals to beat Waubonsie Valley 25-18, 16-25, 25-13, then crushed Glenbard West 25-10, 25-13 in the finals to claim the championship of the 24-team, two-day tournament.
Notre Dame-bound Ryann DeJarld had six kills, six digs and three aces, 6-foot sophomore middle Kayla Caffey added seven kills and a block, 5-11 junior middle Kelsey Clark had five kills and a block and tournament MVP and Western Illinois recruit Courtney Joyce added 23 assists, three kills and six digs.
“It was really refreshing to play really challenging competition,” DeJarld said. “The competition at the Asics Challenge was kind of up-and-down. We got really pumped up for this championship. This (the title match) was probably one of the most fun games I ever played in.
“It was a total team effort,” she added. “We are all so supportive of each other. There were some ups and downs during the day, but I thought we played really strong. I’m proud of everyone.”
Joyce was an equal opportunity setter, but she particularly relished employing Caffey and Clark on quick sets over the middle.
“It’s so fun,” Joyce said. “It’s so fun to keep everything fast. I’m a setter who likes to have a fast offense and they (Clark and Caffey) are just as fast. They put a lot of balls away. The passing is right there for us to set them. I owe it to my team to get the ball to them.”
After taking a brief 9-8 lead in Set 2 on an ace by Katie Ball, Glenbard West (30-3) found itself on the short end of a 7-1 run by the Mighty Macs.
“We work at being out of system and still getting the ball up,” Joyce said. “If I take the first ball, we work at having somebody else set the hitter in a hittable position so they get the kill.”
Sophomore Natalie Schilling had four kills for Glenbard West.
“Obviously, they’re really good,” she said. “I think we were a little frazzled. We weren’t really prepared for their fast offense and their middles. They run their middles whenever they can. We were definitely scrambling a little bit.
“We need to be faster on defense,” she added. “We just need to be ready for everything. This was good for us to learn how to play teams that fast so we can go far in the playoffs and be prepared for sectionals.”
Crystal Lake South (30-3), which lost to Glenbard West 20-25, 25-20, 25-20 in the semifinals, defeated Waubonsie Valley 18-25, 25-18, 25-22 for third place. St. Charles East (25-6), which earned coach Jenni Kull’s 500th victory at the school in Friday’s pool play, stopped Downers Grove North 25-19, 25-21 for fifth.