Marist defeated Glenbrook South in two sets on April 4. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Marist defeated Glenbrook South in two sets on April 4. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Marist still unbeaten after downing Glenbrook South

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By Xavier Sanchez
Correspondent

Marist is on a roll thus far this season, and improved to 9-0 after topping Glenbrook South in two sets last week. 

The RedHawks defeated the previously unbeaten Titans, 25-11, 25-21, on April 4 in Mount Greenwood, giving them eight straight matches that have gone two sets. Marist’s only three-set match this season was a road win over Sandburg to open the season on March 19.

Several players contributed in the victory, with a trio of key RedHawks leading the way. Junior outside hitter Nathen Toth had seven kills, five digs and three aces and senior outside hitter Luke Brannigan had five kills and five digs. Senior middle back Jack Meador finished with three kills and five blocks.

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Marist coach Jordan Vidovic talks to RedHawks’ players during their match against Glenbrook South. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Meador missed last season while recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. He had been eager get healthy and worked hard to be back on the court this season.

“I was working on building up my leg strength, and getting back in the gym with the guys I missed on a connection-basis last season,” Meador said. “And this year, I am trying to get in there in the games, and in the right moments, and be a bigger part of my team.”

Meador, his teammates, and the Marist head coach Jordan Vidovic have a strong program vying to eclipse the sectional championship after falling short last season. They know teams will not make it easy but through their program identity, anything is possible.

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Marist players have a quick talk during a match against Glenbrook South. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Marist was scheduled to play at Woodrow Wilson on April 10 before getting into its East Suburban Catholic Conference schedule beginning April 16 at Carmel. That is the start of seven league matches over the next nine contests for the RedHawks.

Come the postseason, they will be seeking to advance beyond the sectional round of the IHSA playoffs for the first time since their state championship in 2019. They were 35-4 last season, which ended with a loss to rival Brother Rice in the Brother Rice Sectional championship match.

Marist was 36-3 in 2022, when their season ended with a sectional championship match loss to eventual state runner-up  Lincoln-Way East. The Griffins ended the RedHawks’ season in the sectional finals in 2021 as well.

“We try to model our team after the [state champion] 2019 team through core values such as connectedness, grit, determination and hard work,” Vidovic said. “They know the challenges they are going to get and we have had some good, strong challenges early in the season. They will keep coming for us.”

Brannigan, Toth, Meador and junior setter Christian Teresi are the team’s top returning players. Vidovic likes to have his veteran players to help ease any challenges his team might face.

“They know the challenges so it is their job to keep the new guys and younger guys in check, and to keep pushing ourselves so we don’t fall into any lulls and not to get too comfortable,” he said.

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Marist’s Devlin Bigg launches a ball over two Glenbrook South players on April 4. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

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