Photo by Jeff Vorva
Marist’s Molly Murrihy, a Palos Heights resident, wears the numeral 1 for the RedHawks. The RedHawks were No. 1 in the state after winning the Class 4A title on Nov. 11 and were named No. 1 in the nation by FloVolleyball.
Marist’s girls volleyball team might want to send a nice Christmas card to the volleyball players at O’Connor High School out of Heliotes, Texas.
O’Connor knocked off Reagan of San Antonio Texas in regional semifinal action.
At the time, Reagan was FloVolleyball’s No. 1-ranked team in the nation while Marist was No. 2. Good ol’ O’Connor’s upset win, combined with the RedHawks’ three-set state championship victory over 13th-ranked Minooka on Nov. 11, gives the local heroes the mythical Flo50 national championship.
The 41-1 RedHawks scored wins over nationally-ranked champion Assumption out of Kentucky, St. Joseph Academy from St. Louis and Kansas’s Class 5A champion St. James.
Also on Marist’s impressive resume in splitting two matches with neighbor Mother McAuley, which won the Flo50 national championship last year as well as national championships from PrepVolleyball.com, USA Today/AVCA and MaxPreps.
As of the Nov. 15 MaxPreps rankings, Marist was second to Walton (Georgia). In the MaxPreps computer rankings, Marist was eighth and oddly enough, St. Joseph of St. Louis was five slots higher and Assumption was No. 1. Geez, and I thought my computer was a piece of garbage.
USA Today/AVCA’s latest rankings has Assumption first, Walton second and Marist third. Again, that’s a bit of a joke considering Marist beat Assumption and never lost since that match. And Assumption has three losses.
PrepVolleyball.com looks like it has crowed Walton as its national champion.
So it appears that Marist has one at least one national title among its accolades.
Unless these teams square off in a national tournament, I am not buying into the fact that any of these teams are proven to be the best in the nation just because some websites or computers say so.
But it’s been a huge honor that two years in a row, someone thinks that two great volleyball teams from this area are the best in the country.
Wait until he starts playing…
Former Sandburg boys volleyball star Jake Hanes could be in for a heck of a college career.
The Regional/Reporter’s first Boys Volleyball Player of the Year in 2016 is one of the few 6-foot-10 players you will see playing in the front and back rows. And he’s a pretty good server, too.
He signed up to play at powerhouse Ohio State University and sat out his first year as a redshirt. There are not very many teams with enough depth to aske a kid with Hanes’ skills to take a redshirt year, but OSU is loaded.
So he sat out a year and the Buckeyes won their second straight national championship.
Before pounding down his first kill or racking up his first dig as a Buckeye, the Orland Park native won an impressive looking national championship ring. A couple of weeks ago, he was waving to a huge crowd at the Buckeyes’ football stadium as the team was honored on the field.
And Friday, he and his teammates again received the hero’s treatment as they visited the White House and posed with President Donald Trump.
Say what you want about Trump – and you will – it’s still pretty cool to be honored by a United States president, especially if you play a low-profile sport such as men’s volleyball.
For Hanes, it’s been a pretty special ride – and his career is just beginning.