MERRILLVILLE | Times No. 5 Andrean showed a lot of guts for a season opener Monday.
The 59ers trailed by six in the first game, five in the second and started the third down by 12 before coming back in each to top No. 8 Marquette Catholic 25-20, 25-23, 25-22 in what the public address announcer deemed the "Catholic Showdown."
"We know how to win," coach Julie Wiejak said. "If I ever get down by 12 points again, I'm going to say to them 'Remember during the Marquette game when we were down 12 and still won?'"
Wiejak said her team's senior leadership needs some time to become leaders.
"You're like 'Who's going to fix this?' and then you're like 'I'm the top of the food chain. I have to fix it,'" she said.
"That heart flows through, we've just got to stay patient at times."
It was a freshman who stood out while the seniors were learning their roles.
Setter Korie McCrea spread the ball around to the tune of 26 assists. She notched nine to seven different teammates in the first game alone.
"She's ready. She's a hard worker and an incredible athlete," Wiejak said. "We kept talking about relieving the pressure for her. This year, we're going to put the pressure on the passers and hitters and relieve a little pressure from her."
The Blazers were without outside hitter Zoya Ganz, who hadn't practiced 10 times as required by the IHSAA. Marquette also started two players with the flu, coach Jan Fitzpatrick said.
"We came in here knowing that we were going to put people in tough positions and we were going to do the best we could," Fitzpatrick said. "I have no complaints about tonight. There are kids who stepped up."
McCrea's favorite target, by the end of the night, was senior Lauren Stazinski.
The combination was potent, as Stazinski finished with 13 kills and five blocks.
Sabrina Brown had 10 kills and Haley Mellen had 15 digs for the Blazers.