Marist's Andrew Kopinski, a Palos South grad, gets ready for an attack against Glenbard West on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Marist's Andrew Kopinski, a Palos South grad, gets ready for an attack against Glenbard West on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Marist knocks off Glenbard West in battle of nationally ranked volleyball teams

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Power on power didn’t work the first time around.

Power here and there, mixed in with some savvy soft shots, did the trick the second time.

In a battle of two of the top 11 teams in the nation, according to the USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association May 11 rankings, No. 11 Marist won a rematch over No. 3 Glenbard West with a 25-21, 25-23 victory May 12 in Chicago.

The first time the two teams met, many of Marist’s hearty kill attempts were blocked back toward its side of the court in a 25-20, 25-15 setback at the Brother Rice Smack Attack on April 23.

This time around, there was a mix of power and well-placed rolls and tips to keep the Hilltoppers (30-3) guessing.

“We wanted to have a little more variety and create some openings,” Marist coach Jordan Vidovic said. “We wanted to force some of the plays and force them to do some things, which we didn’t do last time. We didn’t pressure them enough the first time.”

Glenbard West played without its top player, Danny Dorsey, in the first matchup, but the Hilltoppers were at full strength last week.

Marty Canavan led the RedHawks (31-2-1 after the match) with 10 kills and six digs, while Kellen O’Keefe added eight kills and six digs. Setter Christian Teresi had 32 assists and Brendan Schoeberl had 12 digs.

MARIS LIBERO

Marist libero Brendan Schoeberl chases down a ball against Glenbard West on Thursday in Chicago. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Crazy week for Crusaders

The rough-and-tumble Chicago Catholic League Blue baseball title went to Brother Rice, as the Crusaders finished with a 16-2 record to win the title outright. They shared the championship with St. Rita and St. Laurence last year.

“It’s always a goal to win the CCL — it’s a goal of ours,” third-year Crusaders coach Sean McBride said. “It’s a great thing for our school and for our team. It’s something they strive for every year.

“It’s the best league in the Midwest and to win it is an accomplishment.”

It was a wild week for Brother Rice (28-4 entering this week).

The Crusaders took an 11-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth against St. Laurence on May 9, but gave up nine in that frame and sweated out a 13-11 victory in Burbank.

They picked up the league clincher the next day with a 10-0 five-inning home victory over the Vikings. Christian Holmes and Nick Daugherty homered for Rice.

It was back to craziness May 12 with an 11-11, 10-inning tie with Lemont in the Do It Stevie’s Way Tournament. The game was suspended because of darkness.

The Crusaders won a 4-2 decision over Loyola May 14 to close the CCL season.

Sunday?

Well, the Crusaders didn’t rest. They finished the Lemont game and scored four runs in the 12th as Holmes and Daugherty drove in runs, and hung on for a 15-13 win.

Later that day, they faced bitter rival Marist and won, 14-5. Junior Bryce Nevils had three hits including a home run.

It was quite a week.

“It’s an out-of-this-world experience to be a part of this team,” said Holmes, a De La Salle transfer and Kansas State recruit. “I love this. It’s amazing.”

BROTHER RICE 23 scaled

Brother Rice’s Amir Gray signals safe but was called out on a play at the plate in a 10-0 victory over St. Laurence on May 10. Photo by Jeff Vorva

SXU softball players heralded

Saint Xavier University senior catcher Brittany Schultz was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned First Team All-CCAC and head coach Erin Mollohan-Corrao claimed the CCAC Coach of the Year award.

Schultz is the first Cougar to win the Player of the Year award since former All-American Nicole Nonnemacher won it in 2016. It is the first Coach of the Year for SXU since Myra Minuskin won the award in 2015 and 2016.

Other first team members were senior outfielder Lyda Robinson, junior outfielder Sarah Bowen, junior infielder Morgan Haefling and freshman pitcher Julianne Claas.

Sophomore infielder Alexus Reese was named Second Team All-CCAC.

More awards could be coming as the Cougars (36-6, ranked 25th in the nation by NAIA coaches) are in the NAIA Opening Round Tournament, which got underway May 16 in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

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