Girls volleyball: Hollarbush, St. Francis take titles at Metro Suburban tourney

 
By BILL STONE
Shaw Media
Updated 9/20/2021 9:34 PM

Sophomore Emmy Hollarbush and her St. Francis girls golf teammates were determined to continue their Metro Suburban Conference success at Monday's conference meet.

"I think I felt a lot of pressure to do well," said Hollarbush, who finished second in 2020 to graduated teammate Katherine Lemke. "I just took it shot by shot."

 

Hollarbush captured medalist honors at Naperbrook with an 80 on the par-72 course and the Spartans' 336 won by 36 strokes to secure their fourth straight conference title since joining the MSC in 2018.

Junior Katherine Lilly (81) shared second with Aurora Central Catholic senior Michelle Beggs and senior Sarah Grivetti (84) tied for fourth to also earn top-10 all-conference honors. Sophomore Leah Grivetti (91) was 12th.

"I'm a little sad that this is my last go at it but I'm really excited to see what we do with the rest of the year," said Sarah Grivetti, a member of all four MSC title lineups and the Spartans' berths to the last two state meets in 2019 and 2018. "If we'll be able to repeat that, it'll be amazing."

Rosary (372) topped Aurora Central Catholic (384) for second to share second in the overall standings. Wheaton Academy (387), Riverside-Brookfield (421), St. Edward (457) and Westmont (482) were fourth through seventh Monday in the overall standings.

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At the 2020 MSC Meet, the Spartans won with a then school-record 325. Even with Lemke now competing for Creighton, the Spartans dropped their record to 218 Aug. 21 at Wedgewood with Hollarbush (73) leading the way.

"Coming into a team that's already had that success in the past, they just ride on that and I love it," first-year St. Francis coach Hayley Jefferson said. "They always persevere through any conditions. They impress me every time."

The top-seeded MSC teams started shortly after 10 a.m. Monday and were greeted by rain and wind.

"It was tough conditions but I was able to just grind it out," Hollarbush said. "I think it was important to see how much (Lemke last season) was able to focus even after a hard hole and even at practice to really focus and continue to get better."

"I just focused on every shot and if I had a bad hole, I'd just forget about it," added Lilly, 11th last season. "I tried to think of it as a perfect, sunny day, even if it wasn't."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Beggs continued to prove herself as the best girls golfer in ACC history with her fourth all-conference honor. ACC freshman Natalia Salazar tied for ninth (89). With them and senior Molly Griffin (94), the Chargers hope to qualify for their first state meet after winning their first regional in 2019.

"(I want to) work on my putting a little more," Beggs said. "I didn't play super great today. Maybe (the weather) a little bit, but my putting wasn't great. I try to practice every day because I want to get better, but sometimes it doesn't work out."

Rosary hopes for postseason success from its senior-heavy lineup. Seniors Morgan Witte (90) and Brooke Stumm (93) were 11th and tied for 14th Monday. Witte just missed her third all-conference honors after joining as a sophomore.

"My freshman year I was debating golf or volleyball. Sophomore year I was dead set on playing golf. I've been playing since I was around 10," Witte said. "I had a good first year so I've kept coming back."

St. Edward junior Ivy Burnett (87) tied for sixth, IC Catholic Prep senior Nina Calabria (88) was eighth and Wheaton Academy senior Caroline Kelly (89) tied for ninth.

Wheaton Academy coach Chip Dykema said Kelly, who shared eighth in 2020, has been the team's hardest worker.

"I spend a lot of time in the summer working, just using all of the time I have, to improve my game. It's very fun to see it pay off," Kelly said. "(Repeat all-conference) was huge for me. It was definitely one of my goals, to specifically play well in the conference meet."

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