Girls Volleyball: Marist Escapes with Three-Set Victory Over Lincoln-Way East in Regional Final
Marist 25-22-25, Lincoln-Way East 17-25-15: After failing to close out the Griffins in two sets, the RedHawks regrouped and got the job done in the Class 4A regional final at Thornton Fractional South.
When it comes to beds, couches or any other household furniture, there’s no such thing as “too comfortable.”
But for a volleyball team, it might not be the greatest compliment, especially in the playoffs.
After cruising to a victory in Game 1, Marist failed to close out Lincoln-Way East in the second game. But the RedHawks, whom many consider to be a state title contender, settled down and rallied back for a 25-17, 22-25, 25-15 victory to claim the Class 4A Thornton Fractional South Regional title.
“I think we get too comfortable with teams,” Marist outside hitter Mallory Salis said. “We win the first game and then we get comfortable and we let them into it and we can’t do that because later on we’re going to play teams who are just going to jump on that and take advantage of that.”
It might be sooner rather than later as Marist will face off against Mother McAuley on Tuesday night in the sectional semifinals at Andrew.
The first set was no problem for Marist as the RedHawks used big serves to put points on the board and take Lincoln-Way East out of its offense. Kelly Marcinek had three consecutive aces early on and the RedHawks totaled seven in the first game alone.
“Serving takes a lot of their rhythm so they can’t run their offense, so serving is a big part of the game and you have to stay aggressive,” Salis said. “It does really help when they can’t pass.”
Lincoln-Way East came back to take the second game even after trailing 20-18. Behind solid hitting from Marissa DeGroot and Kayla Currier, the Griffins captured seven of the last nine points to even the match.
But Marist was too much in the third set. Salis had three kills early on and would finish it off with a kill down the middle from the back row to send the RedHawks into the sectionals.
The loss marked the end of a great season for Lincoln-Way East, which saw the Griffins capture the No. 5 seed in the sectional.
“We had a great season; our seniors did an awesome job leading us,” DeGroot said. “All we can do is bounce back and get ready for next year.”
Salis finished with 15 kills, while Marcinek added 12 kills for Marist. Katie Allen had nine kills for Lincoln-Way East.
Marist gets to face McAuley once more, but Salis said the RedHawks will try and treat it like any other match.
“We’re the type of team where just give us any team,” Salis said. "We’ll play anyone who comes on the other side of the net and McAuley is a big rivalry, but we can’t let that get to our head and we’re just going to play our normal game."