MUNSTER | The Munster volleyball team likes to call its self fearless.
Well, #fearless really, the mantra on the backs of their team t-shirts.
After the third and fourth games of Thursday's Northwest Crossroads Conference showdown against Times No. 4 Andrean, the 59ers are hoping to embrace that same theme.
No. 1 Munster maintained its undefeated record in the conference with a 25-16, 25-12, 23-25, 25-22 win. With the fight the Niners showed in the third and fourth games, the next match between the two teams — in the last week of the season — could be different.
"I just saw right now, what I needed to get this done," Andrean coach Julie Wiejak said. "I filmed that, I'm going to scout it like we do a college game and we're going to get it done. We're going to practice that.
"They're willing to do the fearless work and I owe them to put everything on the line to win it Oct. 16. We keep losing at semistate because we're afraid, we lose to Munster because we're afraid. It's the elephant in the room that no one is willing to talk about. I talk about it between games two and three and look what happens."
The 59ers looked lackadaisical and slow in the first two games, easily won by a multi-talented Munster team.
The monster of Shannon Farrell (16 kills), Tori DellaCarbonare (10 kills), Elizabeth Kloos (nine kills) and Victoria Foster (seven kills) showed how much the Mustangs can spread the ball around without missing a step.
"Most matches we get every girl in because they all can contribute," Munster coach Tracy Summers said. "That makes a really big difference in practices and pushing each other. But in games, knowing they all contribute, that's a blessing to have."
Falling behind in game three, the 'Stangs showed their "#fearless" side, rallying for a lead before falling in the final four points. Game four was similar, except this time, when Munster (23-1, 8-0) rallied, it held the lead.
"I think they picked it up a lot and they were able to realize some of the things we were doing," Farrell said. "Then we were able to control the ball as well.
"We picked (#fearless) as something that represented us. We knew that this team was going to do big things and even though we get down sometimes, we get fearless and get back up and are able to finish out the games."
Andrean (17-6, 6-2) picked up 12 kills from Kellie Wojciechowski and Marija Nicksic had eight kills with eight blocks.
The Niners came out in their third game and took a 4-1 lead and then didn't back down when Munster turned the tables for a 9-4 advantage. A 10-0 Andrean run gave the 59ers a 16-11 lead halfway through.
"This is emotion we've been dealing with for three years, we've been scared in big moments and we're not going to be scared anymore," Wiejak said. "Now that we've seen this, we're ready for anything. ... This is the first team I've seen out there not afraid of Munster."