In the last home games of the season, the Maroons excelled, sweeping both Dominican and North Park. The results of the games were made only sweeter by the fact that it was Senior Night. Unfortunately, these wins were soon followed by a loss to Concordia, and Chicago ended the weekend with a record of 17–9.
After the conclusion of the games against Dominican and North Park, fourth-years Katie LaPorte, Amy Risk, Erin Risk, and Mary Claire Tuohy were honored. Over the past four years, thanks in part to these four honorees, the Maroons have taken trips to the playoffs three times, and boast a winning percentage of .664 (89 wins and 45 losses). Though the ceremony took place after the games, Senior Nightcertainly had an effect on the team’s play, according to first-year middle-hitter Madison Pearson.
“It was so exciting to go all out and play for our seniors,” Pearson said. “We all had a mindset in which we wanted to play with lots of energy and enthusiasm and make the last home games for our seniors a memorable one!”
The first match of the night was against Dominican University. Due to attack errors, the Maroons established a lead of 18–13. There was a slight resistance, and at one point the score was 23–22 Chicago. The Maroons held on to take the first set, though. The second set was much more back and forth until the score reached 18–16. From there, the team locked in and scored seven straight points to win the second set 25–16. The Maroons didn’t waste any time in the third set either, quickly going up 7–2. From there, it was smooth sailing as the set and match were clutched by a score of 25–19. Notable stars of the game included second-year Audrey Scrafford who registered 13 kills, Erin Risk with 37 assists, and Tuohy anchoring the defense with 22 digs.
The second half of the doubleheader was against North Park, and once again, Chicago did not waste any time, jumping out to a 5–0 start in the first set before winning 25–15. The first set had a highlight, when second-year Sarah Muisenga made a spectacular one-armed diving save to get a kill. The second set started out fast, with a quick 6–2 start for the South Siders. After an 8–1 run that made the score 22–10, the set soon ended 25–15. Not eager to get swept, North Park put an incredible fight in the third set, leading at one point and tying the game at 24–24. The squad quashed North Park’s hopes, however, winning the game 26–24. Like the first game, Scrafford, Erin Risk, and Tuohy excelled statistically, and Muisenga chipped in 14 kills and 11 digs.
The final game of the weekend was an away game on Saturday, played at Concordia University in Wisconsin. The Maroons rallied back from a 15–12 hole to go up 21–16 and eventually win the first set 25–22. However, that was the last set the Maroons would win. Set two was close though, with back-and-forth scoring leading to Concordia winning 25–22 and evening up the match. Despite incredibly efficient offense from the Maroons, the home team was able to tie up the third set 23–23 before winning it 25–23. Despite coming back within one point in the fourth and final set, Concordia ended the game with a score of 25–22. First-year Anabella Pinton was a standout, with 11 kills and 10 digs.
The next games for the Maroons will be played Friday and Saturday at the UAA Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.