ALL STATE
Mother McAuley’s Elizabeth McNicholas is a water polo player and swimmer who is one of 26 athletes from the state named to the Illinois High School Association’s All-Academic team this year. Photo by Jeff Vorva




BEL

ALL STATE
Mother McAuley’s Elizabeth McNicholas is a water polo player and swimmer who is one of 26 athletes from the state named to the Illinois High School Association’s All-Academic team this year. Photo by Jeff Vorva

BEL

McNicholas does swimmingly in pool and in the classroom

By Jeff Vorva, Correspondent

Mother McAuley senior Elizabeth McNicholas admits that the process she uses to keep track of her busy schedule could be a little better.

“I have some things in my phone and some things in my planner,” she said. “It’s unorganized a little bit, but it’s working.”

That’s true. The swimmer and water polo player needs to keep track of events, practices, study time and homework time and is a success at it. The Illinois High School Association named her one of 26 members of the 2020-21 All-State Academic team.

That’s just one of a handful of plaudits she won. She earned the Sister Agatha O’Brien scholarship, which the school hands out to students who test in the top five percent on the High School Placement Test. She is a member of two honor societies at the school.

All-State honorees usually are recognized at a banquet in Bloomington, but because of the pandemic, the IHSA is planning a virtual celebration.

She wouldn’t mind a celebration with her teammates in the state tournament in Lincolnshire later this season. The Mighty Macs have brought home 13 top-four trophies over the years including first-place finishes in 2002, 2003 and 2007. They finished third in 2019 but in 2020, they got in a couple of matches in before the IHSA shut spring sports down because of coronavirus concerns.

They opened the 2021 season with a 3-0 mark including an 11-5 triumph over Sandburg on April 7 in Orland Park. McNicholas scored the fifth goal of the match with 1 minute, 57 seconds left in the first half. Bella Marquecho had four goals for the winners, Gladys Contreras and Ella Mulchrone each had two while Maddie Dumais and Hannah Pigott each added one.

Sandburg, which was 3-3 in its first six matches of the season, was led by Maggie Caliendo’s four goals while Colleen Donnell had one.

McNicholas is seeking an engineering degree in college and is looking to continue her athletic and academic career at either Purdue or Iowa.

She is winding down and athletic career, which also includes swimming, after participating in water sports when she was four and joined up at Ridge Park’s program in Beverly.

“It’s my last season and I want us to finish strong,” she said.

Other players on the Mighty Macs roster are Mia Burns, Rebecca Engquist, Evelyn Ivers, Kira Jacobson, Cassidy Landers, Kiara Morquecho, Ella Mulchrone, Allison Thompson and Emma Urbon-Newman.

 

Bella Marquecho had four goals for Mother McAuley in an 11-5 victory over Sandburg on April 7. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

Maggie Caliendo of Sandburg notched four goals in a home loss to Mother McAuley. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

 

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