Southsider Voice correspondent
Of the four schools covered in this column, only the women’s team from Marian made a deep run in postseason play, and last night the Knights (34-3) faced St. Xavier for the NAIA national title in Sioux City, Iowa (outcome unknown at press time).
The Knights advanced to the championship game by defeating St. Francis (Ill.) 64-56 Monday.
Marian opened defense of its 2016 national championship by defeating Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 105-92 in the first round March 9. Six players scored in double figures, including Roncalli graduate Kellie Kirkhoff, who surpassed the 1,000-point career mark with 13 points. Fellow Roncalli grad Rachel Titzer came off the bench to chip in 11. Jenna Sullivan had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Friday’s second-round action pitted Marian against Indiana University East, which the Knights easily defeated 96-69 in a game they never trailed. They led 29-12 at the end of the first quarter. Kirkhoff scored 15 points.
In quarterfinal action Saturday, Marian handed Southeastern University (Fla.) its first loss of the year, 81-67. Kirkhoff was the team’s second leading scorer with 21 points; Titzer added 8.