Girls volleyball: 'Match for Maeve' goes to Fremd
Breslin Reid almost ran out of the gym to make the save that got Fremd match point on Thursday night at Palatine.
"I always say you've got to go for every single ball whether you think you're going to get it or not," said Reid after Fremd won 26-24, 25-21 in the Mid-Suburban West titled 'Match for Maeve'. "And it really paid off there."
The biggest payoff of the night was the money raised to support the Maeve McNicholas Memorial Foundation which assists and funds families with children living with brain tumors.
Palatine assistant coach and former Fremd volleyball player Kelly Doherty is the cousin of Maeve, who was only 26 months old when she died from a brain tumor in 2004.
The foundation has raised more than $750,000 to help others.
"Kelly came to us early in the year to ask if we could do this, and I said 'absolutely," said Fremd coach Curt Pinley. "It was a great evening g. Having Maeve's parents (Matt and Denise) here (from the Chicago Beverly neighborhood) was really what this night was all about. I think volleyball kind of took a back seat."
Posters, T-shirts and raffles were part of the evening which began when Matt McNicholas took the microphone and emotionally thanked the big turnout.
A poster hanging on the wall read 'One Town, One Cause'.
"Anytime the Palatine community can come together to do something special like this, I think is great," Pinley said.
The big crowd saw some great volleyball, too. Reid's big play exemplified that.
"I saw the ball had been passed it up really deep (to the corner) and I could hear the crowd screaming like they thought they had won the point," said the junior outside hitter. "I was determined. I sprinted over there and grabbed it.
"Then I was thinking someone better free ball this over the net (which happened and resulted in a 24-21 lead). It was great."
That play and Fremd's overall defense did not go unnoticed by Pirates coach Dan Gavin.
"Their defensive pursuit was relentless," he said. "Their libero (Maddie Aichinger) was all over the court."
Aichinger collected a team-high 9 digs.
"I'm so glad we made had this match to support a great cause," she said.
"It feels really great to help this cause," Reid added. "And I'm glad I was part of this and wore this jersey with Maeve's name on it."
Heide Sayre led Fremd (17-5, 7-1) with 6 kills while Clauda Wala and Jules Tangney each had 2 blocks. Peyton Hooker, Reid and Sayre each served an ace. Lydia Vander Ark (7 assists) and Rian Baker (6) set the attack.
The Pirates (13-8, 4-4) were led on attack by Haley Holz (7 kills), Emily Campe (5 kills) and Sarah Elischer (5 kills). Holz also served 4 aces. while Allison Drake handed out 17 assists.
"Obviously tonight was something much bigger than volleyball," Gavin said. "I think it was a great opportunity for the young adults from both of these programs to realize that and gain some perspective. I can only speak for the girls in my huddle, but they got it."