Week 2 volleyball notes

Does Mother McAuley have a weakness?

The Mighty Macs sought an answer to that question in Kentucky over the weekend at the Louisville Invitational. They came away with a 4-1 record, including a 27-25, 16-25, 25-21 victory in the third-place match against Assumption, which entered the weekend as the No. 1 team in the nation.

A 25-13, 27-25 semifinal loss to one of Assumption’s biggest rivals, neighboring Mercy Catholic, however, gave McAuley coach Jen DeJarld what she was looking for.

“We really exposed a lot of areas that we need to improve on,” DeJarld said. “I’m really excited about that. Sometimes you get comfortable and you’re like, ‘OK, we look pretty good!’ And then we go and we play these teams from Kentucky and it exposes how slow we are.

“Kentucky volleyball is just off the charts right now. They’re always strong every year, but (Mercy) was the most physical team I’ve seen in high school volleyball in a long time.”

The Mighty Macs also defeated defending Tennessee state champion Ravenwood in two sets at the tournament.

Ryann DeJarld had a big weekend for McAuley (7-1 overall), with 28 kills and 33 digs. Courtney Joyce contributed 78 assists.

Powering along

T.F. South continues to impress during the early part of the season. The Rebels (8-1) followed a big win midweek over Marian Catholic by capturing the Joliet Central Invitational championship.

Crystal Lee had 15 kills in a title-match win over Bishop McNamara, and is the strongest of the power hitters (Leah Lagestee, Briana Lilly, Madyson Anthony) who should make the Rebels a contender in the South Suburban Blue.

“Overall, there has been a lot of team unity,” South coach Kim Sands said. “They are a very talented and driven team ready for the next challenge. So far this year they have been playing great, really pushing and supporting each other on and off the court. The offense and defense real complement each other.”

Player of the Week

Crystal Lee, of T.F. South, is this week’s SouthtownStar Girls Volleyball Player of the Week. Lee, a 5-foot-8 junior outside hitter, had 10 kills in a two-set win over Marian Catholic and 15 kills in a title-match victory over Bishop McNamara in the Joliet Central Invitational.

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