In their first match in pool play, the Warriors faced tournament Oskalooska for the first time. MHS coach Jim Versch said Oskalooska, seeded third in the tournament with a 25-5 mark is “a very scrappy and good offensive team.”
Marion lost the match (15-25, 20-25) then lost to Hillsboro (19-25, 15-25) in its second match.
“I felt we played with Hillsboro, but could never get over the hump to get the momentum to finish the game,” Versch said.
The third match pitted the Warriors against league rival Sterling, a team Marion had defeated earlier in the season.
“This is a good team, but a team that is very much like our team—one that plays very well at times but just can’t put it away,” Versch said.
Marion won, 26-24, 22-25, 25-18. A string of seven serves by reserve Kimber Hardey finished off the third game.
“Throughout the day we had some awesome kills from Julia Zeiner, along with great sets from Lindsey Hett,” Versch said.
Marion quad—The Warriors hosted a quadrangular Oct. 9. Versch’s team played league opponents: Nickerson and Hoisington, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.
“The girls didn’t seem to be intimidated by the state’s top team,” Versch said. “I really thought we played with them.”
Marion grabbed a lead in the first game, but ultimately fell, 21-25, 16-25.
“The team has shown so much improvement in areas of teamwork, learning to play together and adjusting to the others teams style of play,” Versch said. “Our team still needs to become much more competitive, finishing off teams when we are ahead.
“Great hits from Julia Zeiner and Kayley Heerey, plus good middle hitter play from Kristin Waner, along with unbelievable setting from Lindsey Hett kept us in these games,” Versch said.
“All these girls have really adapted to their specific jobs and roles on the team, all of them continue to improve individually and as a team.”
Marion lost in two games, 15-25, 18-25, to Nickerson.
“We were just outplayed by a very good and well coached team,” Versch said.
Coming—Marion, 3-5 in the MCAA and 5-19 overall, played a quadranguler Tuesday at Lyons. The Warriors’ final tuneup before postseason play featured Haven, Lyons and Halstead.
Marion plays Saturday at the sub-state tournament hosted by at Southeast of Saline. The field will include three state-ranked teams: Hoisington (29-2), Sacred Heart and Hillsboro (26-5).