CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Marian Catholic just couldn't finish Tuesday in one semifinal of the Class 4A Marian Catholic Regional.
The Spartans led at certain times of both games, but Lincoln-Way North ended the Spartans' season with a 25-23, 25-17 win.
In the second game, No. 13 Marian closed within 18-17, but couldn't stop the No. 6 Phoenix, who ran off seven straight points.
"We tried to put up a desperate fight and I think at that point were playing not to lose instead of playing to win," Amber Clay said. "I think that is what cost us."
Clay, who will attend the U.S. Military Academy, finished her brilliant career with seven kills. Kendy Todd had five kills and four blocks as Marian finished the season 19-17.
"It was great to be a part of this program and see our program get back to a good one," Clay said. "We had a good run."
In the first game, Marian took a 5-1 lead, but the Phoenix came back to tie it. Both teams traded points with Marian taking a 23-22 lead, but the Phoenix's Allyson Cappel reeled off three straight points for the 25-23 win.
Lincoln-Way North (29-6) will face No. 5 Lincoln-Way Central at 6 p.m. Thursday for the championship.
"We knew they would be that good after having played them a few weeks ago," Marian coach Ryan Summers said. "We definitely played well enough to win, but we didn't finish both times."
The Spartans beat Lincoln-Way North a few weeks ago in the Lincoln-Way Central Autumn tournament.
"We knew what they had and we knew it would be a tough match," Todd said. "They did a really good job."
Marian's Dana Zavesky had four kills and Maddie Huekels had 19 assists.
Lincoln-Way North was led by Shannon Murphy with 23 assists an Rachel Burkman's seven kills.