In it’s “fond memory” collection from this season, Mother McAuley can claim two victories in three tries against No. 1 national rival Assumption, Ky.
That wasn’t what setter Courtney Joyce wanted to hear, however, after the Mighty Macs were beaten convincingly by Assumption 25-19, 25-9 in Saturday’s title match at the Asics Challenge.
“No. Not really,” Joyce said, smiling through reddened eyes. “This definitely fuels us. Losing stinks, and it makes us realize that we don’t want to have this feeling again.”
Joyce had 15 assists and seven digs, Kayla Caffey and Kelsey Clark six kills each, Ryan DeJarld seven digs and Maggie Scanlon 10 digs for the Mighty Macs (23-2).
Alyssa Cavanaugh (9 kills), Kenzie Maloney (12 digs) and Alexa Filley (14 assists) led Assumption (25-6).
It was pretty thorough. McAuley never led. After Assumption broke out to a 12-6 lead in Set 1, the Mighty Macs never got any closer than three as Miranda Elpers (6 kills) and Cavanaugh controlled the net.
“We were aggressive this time,” Cavanaugh said. “The other games they would come at us, but this time we took it to them. Their middle (Clark) is fast and she jumps high, but we tried to wait on her and get touches on her.”
In Set 2, the Rockets blew open a 2-all tie with a an 11-0 run during which Cavanaugh had two kills and a block, and McAuley broke down defensively.
“Communication broke down,” Joyce said. “In the game against St. Francis everything was in sync, but in this game there were errors that should have never happened. There were easy fixes just talking, just calling the ball would have made all the difference in the world.”
It was a stark contrast to the semifinals, when Clark starred with 18 kills and the Mighty Macs defeated St. Francis in classic fashion 25-9, 28-30, 30-28.
“That game was up and down,” Joyce said. “They were playing so good and we were playing so good. There was never a dull moment. There was so much energy, and all of the energy was positive, too It was just a fun match.”
St. Francis (26-3) bounced back in the third-place match as Molly Haggerty had eight kills and Sam Dubiel 15 digs in a 25-17, 25-21 victory over Notre Dame, Ky.
“We really wanted to beat (McAuley) them, obviously, but we played a great game against them,” Haggerty said. “We were ready to play the next (match) against Notre Dame and we did really well.”
Marist (17-7) captured the Silver division championship, beating Downers North 25-12, 30-28 behind 15 kills and four aces by Cameron Enright, 15 digs by Carolyn Yerkes and 27 assists by Molly Mayo.
Sandburg (17-7) went 2-3 in the tournament, dropping the Silver division fifth-place match to Berkeley Prep (Fla.) 25-22, 26-24.
Joliet Catholic (13-7) lost in the Bronze division title match to Nazareth 25-21, 18-25, 25-23. Lincoln-Way East (10-9), after winning twice on Friday lost all three of its matches on Saturday, as did Stagg (11-13).