Some of Mother McAuley’s best challenges this season might come from the girls off the bench at practice.
“When we’re scrimmaging, it’s a really tight game,” Mighty Macs junior Ryann Dejarld said. “Usually you’d think with the starting lineup against the non-starters we would win every time. That’s not the case. We’re really competitive with each other.”
Indeed, the depth in talent was on full showcase Tuesday in the No. 1 Mighty Macs’ 25-13, 25-7 victory over host Lockport.
Junior Caeley Hynes, for one, made the most of her time, putting down four kills at the ends of both sets.
Among the starters, DeJarld added seven kills and four aces, Carla Cahill nine digs and four aces, Courtney Joyce 21 assists, five digs and four kills and Kelsey Clark five kills as McAuley improved to 3-0.
Lockport (3-4) received four kills and four digs from Kayla Pfeiffer, six digs from Lindsey Visvardis, and three kills from MacKenzie Wasowicz.
“It’s very exciting to play with these players who are so skilled,” Hynes said. “It really pushes me to be as good as them. I know that I definitely have to work harder so that I can be a starter next year and lead the team.”
Hynes had some power hits and also a block, while Claire Martin and Amber Casey both had strong runs at the service line.
Up and down the lineup the Mighty Macs were sharp in that regard, totaling 11 kills. Joyce, meanwhile, was able to step away from her setting duties from time to time to flex her hitting muscles from the outside.
Lockport proved feisty during an early stretch in Set 1, but after a three-point streak got the Porters within 5-4, they would go the rest of the match without a service point.
“Almost every hit they hit was crosscourt and we just didn’t adjust to it enough, I think,” Pfeiffer said. “We could have put up a more solid block and with our serve-receive too, we had a lot of shanks, so we didn’t have a chance to run our offense.
“We just didn’t play up to our potential. We’re trying to come up with a solid lineup that we think is going to work best. We haven’t come up with that yet, but when we do hopefully we’ll get some more wins.”
Ahead for McAuley is a weekend invitational in Louisville, where the Mighty Macs, ranked No. 2 in the nation, will play a bevy of powerhouses, possibly including No. 1 Assumption.
“I’m so excited,” DeJarld said. “I can’t wait to play some of those really, really high-level teams. It’s going to be really good for us, especially in the beginning of our season, just to kick us off and kick us in the buns to see how we do.”