Girls Volleyball: Joliet Catholic downs Marian Catholic in three sets
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media October 22, 2013 8:32PM
Updated: November 24, 2013 6:48AM
In Julia Shemaitis, Joliet Catholic has a hitter capable of carrying a team through thick and thin.
And when the Angels have Madeline Grimm clicking, too ... well, watch out.
With Shemaitis and Grimm leading the charge Tuesday, Joliet Catholic regrouped from a first-set loss to take a dominant three-set win at Marian Catholic, winning 23-25, 25-17, 25-11 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
“We feel like we have a really good combination,” Grimm, a junior, said. “We always help each other get excited to play. We never let each other get down.”
As a freshman, Grimm played on the sophomore squad with Shemaitis. Reunited on the varsity, the senior-junior varsity duo is making the most of it.
Shemaitis (12 kills, 12 digs) and Grimm (11 kills, 2 block kills) led Joliet Catholic (20-14, 4-4). Mallory Krzysciak (20 digs) and Mary Murphy (19 assists) also contributed.
After seeing Marian claim a comeback win in the first set, the Angels were having no more of that. Off a 7-all tie, a 5-0 Shemaitis service run featuring three Grimm kills put some distance between the two teams.
The momentum switched to the Angels. Shemaitis had five kills and two aces, with Grimm adding six kills and a block as Joliet Catholic raced to a 25-17 Set 2 win.
“It was Marian’s Senior Night, and we had to come out and match their energy,” Shemaitis said. “We let the momentum go a little bit, and we just can’t do that.”
The third set never was in question. Joliet Catholic sprinted to a 20-6 lead thanks to four service aces, two by Murphy and one each from Shemaitis and Krzysciak.
“If we got the momentum, we knew we could keep it,” Grimm said. “When we get in a rut, we let it get to us. We played Angel volleyball, and we played our best (late).”
Marian Catholic (18-17, 4-5) was led by Amber Clay (14 kills, 11 digs), Madeline Huekels (24 assists), Melanie Craft (13 digs), Kendyl Todd (5 kills) and Dana Zavesky (5 kills).
“We came out on fire and lost our mental strength the second and third (sets),” Clay said. “It was on us. We finally got over the .500 hill, and I do like where we’re at because we’re starting to click. The team is starting to work well together.”