St. Ignatius continues hot streak with win over Marian Catholic

SHARE St. Ignatius continues hot streak with win over Marian Catholic

With eight seniors gone from last season’s squad, the verdict was out on St. Ignatius.

What to expect from a Wolfpack team with a good mix of youth and experience?

The early returns have been almost entirely positive.

“We didn’t know how things were going to go,” Ignatius setter Kristi May said. “We’ve meshed very well. We put in the work, and we have a lot of heart. We want to win, and we’re all so determined.”

Continuing its hot play through the first month of the season, St. Ignatius went on the road and won a squeaker, defeating Marian Catholic 19-25, 25-22, 25-22 on Monday in Chicago Heights.

Gabby Bennett (eight kills, three blocks), Jillienne Bennett (six kills), May (13 assists, 11 digs), Carla Salvato (18 digs) and Kristen Sommerville (six kills, four blocks) led the hot-hitting Wolfpack (13-1).

Marian Catholic (6-9) was paced by Maddie Huekels (23 assists, eight kills), Dana Zavesky (six kills, two aces, two blocks), Debra Miller (12 digs) and Ashley Sledge (seven kills, five blocks).

For a resilient Wolfpack squad, it was contributions from all over that prevailed in the finale.

St. Ignatius fell behind 12-5 in Game 3, but slowly began chipping away.

“Things weren’t going well,” Gabby Bennett said. “That happens. When things are tough, you pull each other [out of the funk].”

A lightning-quick stretch of four straight kills cut the deficit to 16-14. Over the last 15 points, four different players had at least a kill for St. Ignatius.

Aided by four late Marian errors, Gabby Bennett finished off the win in style. Having hit all day with powerful swings, the junior rose for the kill and lightly placed it over the block and into a hole in the defense.

Kill for Bennett, win for the Wolfpack.

“It was shaky [late] with a lot of communication errors,” Bennett said. “Kristi set me a really good set and I kind of just whipped it over, thinking ‘Pray this goes in the court!’ and it did. I don’t think Marian was expecting it.”

For Marian, the performance was there and the win within the Spartans’ grasp; the pieces look to be there.

“We have those moments where that great momentum is there,” Huekels said. “Then we have bursts where we can’t get our points going. We get frazzled, and Coach [Ryan Summers] said ‘If we fix the mental errors, we can be unstoppable.’”

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