Stunningly, Ohio State recruit Christian Teresi reaches another level for Marist. ‘It’s been an insane growth.’


There was a time when even Marist’s Christian Teresi got nervous about playing volleyball.

Older brother Colin played club at the 12U level when Christian was only 7 years old. During those practices, Christian would spend the majority of time playing pepper with his father, Marty.

One day, pepper was over and a coach called Christian over to practice with the older boys.

“I was very nervous, and I didn’t want to practice the first time,” Christian said, recalling the exact moment. “I was meeting all of these new guys. It was tough.”

Over the years, the Ohio State-bound Teresi has transformed from being a understandably nervous underage player to one of the best all-around setters/right-side hitters in the nation..

He was named the MVP at Saturday’s 24-team Lincoln-Way East Invitational.

Teresi was all over the court as the Redhawks — who were ranked No. 6 in the nation in the USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association poll — knocked off No. 2 Glenbard West 25-12, 21-25, 25-23 in the championship match in Frankfort.

Teresi finished the tournament with 83 assists, 43 kills, 10 blocks, 12 aces and 33 digs for Marist (24-2). For the season, he has 501 assists, 272 kills, 56 blocks, 51 aces and 173 digs.

And he has some intangibles Marist coach Jordan Vidovic can brag about.

“He’s bringing more out of his teammates,” Vidovic said of Teresi. “He’s one of those guys who covers a lot of responsibility to take the pressure off some of the other guys.

“His main goal is to never take a break, to never fall asleep and to be that guy who is ready to make an impact in different facets of the game. With that, it breeds some confidence in the other guys. It alleviates some of the pressure from them.”

Marist’s Christian Teresi sets against Glenbard West in the championship match of the Lincoln-Way East Invitational in Frankfort on Saturday, April 27, 2024. (Jeff Vorva / Daily Southtown)

Senior outside hitter Luke Brannigan, who tallied eight kills and 12 digs in the final match against Glenbard West (23-1), joined Teresi in making the all-tournament team.

Brannigan has witnessed a big development in the 6-foot-4 Teresi.

“We started on varsity together,” Brannigan said. “It’s been so amazing to see him grow, not just physically but maturity-wise and intelligence-wise and just knowing the game of volleyball.

“It’s been an insane growth.”

The win over the Hilltoppers came one week after the RedHawks suffered a 25-23, 25-21 setback to the two-time defending state champions at the Brother Rice Smack Attack.

Marist’s only two losses are to Glenbard West and California’s Mira Costa, which is ranked No. 3 in the nation.

An animated Teresi also showed his emotional side during the victory over the Hilltoppers, letting out a long yell after the final point.

Marist's Ethan Kuziela, Luke Brannigan and Griffin McElroy, from left, prepare for a play against Glenbard West in the championship match of the Lincoln-Way East Invitational in Frankfort on Saturday, April 27, 2024. (Jeff Vorva / Daily Southtown)
Marist’s Ethan Kuziela, Luke Brannigan and Griffin McElroy, from left, prepare for a play against Glenbard West in the championship match of the Lincoln-Way East Invitational in Frankfort on Saturday, April 27, 2024. (Jeff Vorva / Daily Southtown)

But after the match, there wasn’t any bragging despite the stunning dominance displayed in the first game against the Hilltoppers.

“I think we’re a pretty good team, but I’m not going to say too much because it’s the middle of the season,” Teresi said. “I still think we need a lot of work in practice.”

One of the things he liked about Marist’s approach to the second meeting against Glenbard West was the shot selection.

Sure, Marist has a host of powerful arms and hitters who aren’t afraid to use them. But making what Teresi calls a “smart shot” and getting well-timed tips are vital against the nation’s elite.

There’s also precious little time to process the situation, but Teresi thinks he and his fellow attackers are getting it down pat.

“When we get set, we usually see four hands at the block, and we also want to look at the other side to see if the middle or anywhere else is open on the court,” he said. “It’s something we work on a lot in practice, and it’s working in matches.”

Jeff Vorva is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.



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