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Girls Volleyball: Marist rebounds from back-to-back tourney losses, tops St. Francis in two sets

By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

A fourth-place finish in the most prestigious early-season tournament in the state wouldn’t prompt most teams to do some soul searching.

Marist isn’t just any team.

Between 2017-19, the RedHawks lost a total of seven matches while winning back-to-back Class 4A state titles in 2017 and 2018, then placing third in 2019.

On Aug. 27, the RedHawks dropped their final two matches at the Plainfield North Crimson Classic, which was held at the Great Lakes Center in Aurora. The fourth-place finish was not what the team was expecting.

“I feel like it motivated me to be more of an impact player,” Marist senior outside hitter Kamryn Chaney said of the back-to-back losses. “I just want to use my knowledge more to help the team.”

The Redhawks (5-2 entering this week) bounced back last week, with Chaney and senior right-side hitter Elise Ward leading the way in 25-17, 25-16 win over St. Francis on Aug. 30.

Chaney clubbed six kills and had five aces and two blocks. Ward walloped eight kills and added eight digs.

“It felt great getting back on the court for a match for the first time since [the third-place game at the Crimson Classic],” Chaney said. “We just want to better and a lot of times it’s working on the little things that make us better.”

“I think we had to get back to practice,” Ward added. “We had some things to work on. We just concentrated on transiting ourselves. We have to get out there, have to work hard and push each other.

“It was a good win coming off of [the two losses]. We gained confidence.”

Emilia Batus banged a trio of kills and two blocks while fellow senior middle blocker Ufuoma Omene had three kills and a block against St. Francis. Sophomore Maddie Berry passed out 21 assists and junior libero Bri Hill had 10 digs.

“We empathized our connectivity with each other,” Marist coach Jordan Vidovic said. “We wanted to be more consistent and even-keeled. We have some offensive players and some moving parts.”

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