Boys Volleyball: Marist finds groove, downs St. Rita
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media April 22, 2014 8:34PM
Updated: April 22, 2014 10:06PM
Marist is a tough team to peg down.
The RedHawks won their first three matches, followed by a seven-match losing steak — albeit to top competition at the Marist and Wheaton Warrenville South invitationals — and then broke the spell by handing perennial power St. Francis (15-2) one of its two losses on the year.
Setter Tim Hauser seemed to have a pretty good grasp on what makes the RedHawks tick — or stall.
“We can’t get down when another team goes on a run,” he said. “We have to keep our focus and stay positive moving forward. We can’t take any team lightly and we need to spread the ball.”
Hauser followed his own advice Tuesday night at St. Rita. He dished kills to four different hitters within the first 11 points as Marist cruised to a 25-19, 25-15 victory.
Hauser had 17 assists, Luke Mayer had eight digs and Jake Moran continued his stellar season, notching 11 kills and two aces. Moran leads Marist (6-8) in kills and aces this season.
“The block wasn’t up all the time, so you could hit pretty hard, which was fun,” Moran said, crediting the play of his middle hitters for pulling the opposing block. “We’re such a better team when we get the middles going.”
Moran blasted a kill in the first set to give Marist a 15-12 lead after St. Rita went on a 6-2 surge behind Tim Dunleavy (6 kills). Moran’s kill sparked a 5-0 run that was capped by a block from Nick O’Gorman. Hauser later closed the set with a dump kill.
Dunleavy added seven digs for St. Rita (3-14) while John Regan had six. The Mustangs have struggled with their rugged schedule after graduating most of their top players from a season ago.
“Tim’s done a great job of pulling the team through some rough times, but it can be a little overwhelming for him because we have so many holes right now,” St. Rita coach Ryan Biros said.
The slate doesn’t get any easier for Marist or St. Rita. Both programs will compete Friday and Saturday in the Brother Rice Smack Attack.