You don’t win big-time tournaments without preparation.
Senior libero Mairead Boyle has that belief every day she shows up at practice for Marist.
“I come in with the same mindset of just getting every single ball,” Boyle said. “I want to get a touch. I want to work on my platform, my techniques. I’m always challenging myself with all of the hitters in the gym.”
The Western Michigan recruit faced some of the best hitters in the country Friday and Saturday at the Mother McAuley Asics Challenge, and came away with a championship medallion.
In Saturday’s title match, Boyle had 15 digs in a 25-22, 28-26 victory over Skutt (Neb.).
The RedHawks faced Kentucky powerhouse Notre Dame twice over the weekend. In a pre-tournament match Thursday, Boyle delivered 22 digs in a 23-25, 25-20, 27-25 win. In Saturday’s quarterfinals, she added 17 digs in a 27-25, 17-25, 25-16 win.
“The Pandas really get the ball up and put it on you,” Boyle said. “They took us by surprise in that first (match). They’re so defensive minded. We knew that we really had to go for it.
"I was excited for this. Everyone on the team was really excited. We love these national tournaments when we face off with some of the best hitters in the country. I wanted to get a good ball, a good pass up, so our hitters could show what they can do.”
Boyle has been a season-long standout on defense for the RedHawks (22-2). She has 278 digs while also contributing 28 aces and 39 assists. She was an all-area selection as a junior.
“The best part about Mairead is that she is always holding herself to a high standard,” Marist coach Jordan Vidovic said. "She’s always the one getting the most (reps) in at practice to make sure that she is fully ready for the biggest, toughest matchups.