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Inside the FAB 50: Short-handed Marist shooting for title

By Kirstin Olsen

With a 29-6 record, No. 25 Marist (Chicago) has had a strong season against some top competition in the Midwest.

The Redhawks spread their wings to Arizona this past weekend to compete in the Nike Tournament of Champions. They beat St. Jospeh’s Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) but lost to unranked Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) in the final 17-25, 25-17, 15-11.

The Redhawks boast 6-foot-4 senior middle blocker Lauren Zielinski, who is committed to South Carolina. Unfortunately she has been sidelined for the season after surgery on a torn labrum.

To secure their second consecutive East Suburban Catholic Conference title, the Redhawks must defeat No. 29 Joliet Catholic. Marist stands 2-0 against JCA so far this season.

No. 7 Presentation (San Jose, Calif.) has made a steady climb all season long and has some big-time wins over No. 19 St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.) and at the Panther Challenge. The Panthers are led by 6-2 senior outside hitter and Duke commit Emily Sklar. The Panthers have one more regular-season match against Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.) to close out the West Catholic League title.

No. 13 Chaparral (Parker, Colo.) has been dominating the Rockies with an impressive 18-0 record. The Wolverines are led by talented senior outside hitter/setter and Texas commit Nicole Dalton, who was also was selected to the U.S. Girls Youth National Team. Dalton hopes to lead her team again to the 5A state title. She is joined by standouts senior libero Emily Podschweit and 6-3 transfer middle blocker Elizabeth Campbell.