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Girls Volleyball: Marist knocks Mother McAuley from unbeaten ranks

By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

Kamryn Chaney had the “eye of the tiger” and Marist got a huge win over their arch-rivals.

Hosting Mother McAuley in the regular season for the first time in four years, the RedHawks came out focused.

Chaney clubbed a match-high 12 kills and added five blocks and eight digs and an ace as the RedHawks knocked the Mighty Macs from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 25-22, 25-19 victory on Sept. 22.

Chaney’s performance helped Marist (14-4) defeat McAuley (17-1) for the first time since the 2019 sectional finals.

“Kamryn was just feeling so comfortable to take it on her shoulders,” Marist coach Jordan Vidovic said. “She was ready to step it up and she did.

“We went back to doing what was working for us. We were so much more focused and so intense. We knew what we had to do.”

Chaney, a senior outside hitter, called the victory “very important.”

“I just really wanted to work hard for my team and have a good journey going forward,” Chaney said. “It feels great. To win on our home court was the best part.

“I’m just trying to beat the game and be smart. I’m just trying to do the best for my team.”

Freshman libero Elayna Davidson had 16 digs. Davidson wasn’t on the varsity team to start the season, but she came up after Labor Day and has shined ever since.

“It’s just so great and I trust my team very much,” Davidson said. “We put 110 percent effort into everything. I knew [McAuley] would be big at the net. So it was just locating the ball and then finishing.”

Vidovic believed Davidson would step up in the match.

“She’s very intelligent, plays great defense, and is not phased by it,” he said

RedHawks sophomore outside hitter Bella Bullington bashed six kills and added four blocks, and sophomore setter Maddie Berry passed out 19 assists.

“This is huge for us.,” Davidson said. “We have been getting better and better each week and working our butts off. This team is amazing.”

Junior outside hitter Ellie White led McAuley with eight kills and three digs. Senior middle blocker Maeve Moonan mashed four kills and had three blocks. Tess Hayes had 10 assists and seven digs while fellow senior setter Olivia Klapp dished out eight assists. Senior libero Gigi Navarrete added 15 digs.

“We knew coming in that it was going to be an intense, exciting match,” White said. “We put up a fight. We just didn’t play our best and our chemistry was off. We just have to put this in the past, bring fortitude and continue to push through it.”

Since 2016, which is the last five played postseasons, the two programs have combined to bring home a trio of Class 4A state championships (McAuley in 2016, Marist in 2017 and 2018), a runner-up finish (McAuley in 2021) and a third-place trophy (Marist in 2019).

The teams could face each other again in sectionals. Marist, McAuley and Lyons, three of the state’s top teams, will all be in the Lyons Sectional.

The Mighty Macs entered the match against Marist ranked fourth in the nation.

“They played a very clean game, blocked well, hit well and passed well,” Macs coach Jen DeJarld said of Marist. “I think our girls were feeling the nerves of being undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the country.

“Going undefeated is not a goal for us. We play one of the toughest schedules and this will be a growth moment for us.”

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