Girls Volleyball: Mother McAuley opens season with two-set win over Joliet Catholic
By Tony Baranek email@example.com August 27, 2014 8:56PM
Joliet Catholic's Mary Murphy bumps the ball back towards the net against Mother McAuley in Joliet on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 29, 2014 12:13PM
A well-oiled machine it wasn’t.
Defending Class 4A champion Mother McAuley had to dig deep — or at least block and serve well — when it counted to prevail 25-23, 25-18 Wednesday over host Joliet Catholic in its season opener.
“We’re not satisfied,” Kennedy Arundel said. “We have a lot of things we need to work on. Passing, and just — you can always get better.”
Ryann DeJarld (7 kills, 8 digs, 2 aces), Kelsey Clark (7 kills, 6 blocks), Arundel (4 kills, 3 aces, 7 digs), Jane DeJarld (18 assists) and Carla Cahill (4 digs) led the Mighty Macs.
Joliet Catholic (1-1) was led by Mary Murphy (6 kills, 4 assists), Madeline Grimm (4 kills), Jessica Simon (4 assists) and Megan Melone (6 digs).
McAuley came into the match a seasoned team that had six returning starters. The only newcomer on the court was the setter, Jane DeJarld.
The Macs made some mistakes, especially in Set 1. Of the Angels’ 23 points, 11 came on McAuley miscues. Murphy also was proficient hitting-wise for the Angels, while the back-row defense kept McAuley from going on any serious runs.
It shook out to a 22-19 advantage Joliet Catholic after a kill by Grimm. Then, an unforced error gave the serve to the Macs.
Arundel was ready, her sky-high toss and sharp twisting serve resulting in one ace and two blocks by Clark.
“I tried really hard to stay focused and not listen to the crowd,” Arundel said. “I just kept positive thoughts.”
Clark later would add four more blocks and provided McAuley’s most consistent disruption to Joliet Catholic’s hitters.
“We worked a lot on our court movement and our blocking sequences,” Clark said. “All of our team did pretty well blocking. I just implemented it.”
McAuley broke a 23-all tie when Ryann DeJarld lined a kill down the left side off a sprawling Angels defender. Jane DeJarld ended the set with a misdirection tip for kill.
The Macs trailed the second set 6-5 when a Joliet Catholic error turned the serve over to Cahill, who delivered five consecutive points. Clark again was a central figure with two blocks. Later, she and Kayla Caffey converted on quick sets from Jane DeJarld, showing improvement over several earlier misfires.
For rebuilding Joliet Catholic, it was an encouraging effort that came on the heels of a close opening night win over Stagg.
“I was impressed with the way we played in the first set,” Angels coach Christine Scheibe said. “I thought we played decent enough defense, and we had just a couple of breakdowns in serve-receive. The girls were running our offense, going after their hits.
“I was encouraged by what we saw. We have a week off before our next match, and we’ve got some things we can work on now. We have a lot of potential.”