That’s the number of state championships legendary Mother McAuley’s volleyball program boasted coming into yesterday’s Class 4A final with Aurora’s Metea Valley.
Metea Valley state championships in any sport, boys or girls? 0
Now, imagine you’re in the state finals against a team with this pedigree. You’re down 1 set in a 3-set match in which Mother McAuley won the first set by double digits. You’ve got no margin for error. You’ve got no momentum. But it’s win two sets in a row or the dream ends.
That’s precisely what the Mustangs faced Saturday in Normal.
And they overcame, using a suffocating defense and timely hitting, winning the final two sets to bring home Metea Valley’s first state championship and extending Mother McAuley’s championship drought to 5 years. (The Mighty Macs last won the championship in 2016.)
The box score told the tale. 62 digs by the Mustangs frustrated Mother McAuliffe’s powerhouse offense, while Metea Valley’s star junior Kira Hutson led both teams with 15 kills.
A remarkable ending for a remarkable streak of 24 consecutive wins for Metea Valley, whose school-wide quest for a state championship came to a thrilling end.