Volleyball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Taking it to the top

Mighty Macs capture 14th state volleyball title

  Since becoming head coach of Mother McAuley’s storied volleyball program in 2005, Jen DeJarld has experienced a lot of success with many of her teams — but never the winning of a state championship.
  That changed Saturday night at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena. There, the Mighty Macs capped off an incredible 2013 season by capturing the school’s 14th title in the sport.
  In reigning over Illinois Class 4A volleyball for the first time in nine seasons, McAuley ended another team’s two-year stay at the top. Benet Academy was the Macs’ victim, 25-22, 25-19, in Normal.

One more heartbreak

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Crusaders fall to Friars in final seconds

  Like objects of a prom queen’s scorn, Brother Rice has experienced plenty of heartbreak during the 2013 football season.
  One last bout of it was delivered to the Crusaders Saturday afternoon at Joe Johnston Field. Seeing its first action in three weeks by hosting Fenwick in a Chicago Catholic League semifinal playoff game, Rice was more rested than rusty as it jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead.
  But then an old bugaboo cropped up, and three second-half turnovers proved too much to overcome.

Go on with the wind

  • Written by Ken Karrson

RedHawks subdue Oswego in 8A quarters

  The winds of change didn’t blow Marist off-course Saturday night.
  A combination of stiff breezes and wet conditions in Mount Greenwood did force the RedHawks to go away from their preferred method of ball advancement. Evidence of that could be found in quarterback Jack Donegan’s season-low 14 pass attempts.
  However, tailback Peter Andreotti was ready and able to pick up any offensive slack, and his exploits -- plus those of a suddenly robust defense -- were enough to keep Marist moving forward in the Class 8A playoffs. While visiting Oswego did fashion an early 7-all tie, the Panthers were kept off the scoreboard the remainder of the way.
  Meanwhile, the RedHawks tallied twice more to register their second straight 21-7 win in the postseason. This latest victory carried Marist into the state semifinals for the first time since 2009, when it wound up playing for a championship.

Dirty, but not down

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Bulldogs brave elements, slip past Phoenix in OT

  Halfway through Saturday night’s Class 6A quarterfinal versus Lincoln-Way North, Richards was down and dirty.
  The second part of that description never changed, as rain and high winds combined to make Korhonen Field sloppy and all those who trod upon it a mess. But the Bulldogs took care of the “down” before it became an “out.”
  A 6-0 lead the Phoenix had taken near the end of the first quarter still held up as the minutes rolled off the fourth-period clock. Staring playoff elimination in the face, Richards managed to avoid it by forcing overtime, which quarterback Hasan Muhammad-Rogers did when he raced 19 yards into the Lincoln-Way North end zone with just 1:42 remaining.
  Then in the extra session, Muhammad-Rogers struck again. His 10-yard keeper featured the junior signal-caller breaking a tackle and receiver Ryan Willett throwing a critical block for him, and that touchdown — which followed Tacari Carpenter’s batting down of a Phoenix field-goal try — lifted the Bulldogs to a 12-6 victory that put them in the state semifinals for the first time in 12 years.


Traveling Incognito down Brutish Boulevard

 It’s time to pay another visit to that famed psychologist to the sports world, Dr. Quincy Quackenbush:
  Dr. Quackenbush: “My, you’re a big one. And your name, sir, is Mr. …”
  Richie Incognito: “Incognito.”
DQ: “Sir, I can’t help you if you don’t even trust me enough to reveal your real name.”
RI: “I did. It’s ‘Incognito.’”
DQ: “OK, I guess for the sake of my records and, more importantly, my billing information, I’ll simply refer to you as ‘Mr. Smith.’”
RI: “But, Dr., my name really is ‘Incognito.’”
  DQ: “Against my better judgment, I’m respecting your right to privacy, Mr. Smith. I don’t normally do that, but you appear to be someone who is fully capable of rearranging my office while I’m sitting in the middle of it, so I’m trying to stay on your good side.”