The Marion volleyball team battled third place at the competitive Centre Invitational Saturday. Senior outside hitter Briana Hall made the all-tournament team.
“Briana Hall had a heck of a day, hitting, blocking,” said coach Deanna Thierolf. “She just had a great day all day.”
The Warriors traveled to Centre after going 1-1 at the Canton-Galva Triangular Sept. 4 against Hutch Trinity and the host team.
Marion is 5-7 for the season.
Centre Invitational—No. 4 seed Marion lost to the No. 5 seed, Herington, in the first round of pool play in three hard-fought games.
Marion lost a back-and-forth first set, 26-28, but rallied from an early deficit in the second game to claim a 28-26 victory. Neither side held the advantage in the third game until the final moments when Herington pulled away for a 25-20 win.
“I can’t fault them on anything, they just played super-hard,” coach Deanna Thierolf said. “It could have easily gone the other way. I think they played the best I’ve seen them play as a group since the first of the year.”
Briana Hall dominated with 20 for 25 hitting, recording 10 kills. Julia Hall and sister Briana had eight and six blocks, respectively.
Marion made fairly quick work of eighth-seeded White City, taking an early lead and drawing away for a 25-15 win in the first game, then claiming a 25-17 win in Game 2.
Katey Ehrlich went 12 of 12 on hits with four kills to lead Marion. Marion’s other hitters also did well, including Megan Richmond (6/7), Kelli Hess (7/9), Kaelyn Thierolf (6/9), Montana Percell (6/9) and Briana Hall (7/12).
“They seemed to be in rhythm with our setters, Katey Ehrlich and Kirsten Hansen,” coach Thierolf said.
Top-seeded Little River proved a bit more of a challenge, as Marion claimed victory in three games. The Warriors lost the first game, 20-25, after getting themselves in an early hole. But the Warriors blew past Little River in Game 2, 25-9.
In Game 3, Marion again trailed early, but pulled into a back-and-forth battle that ended with a match-ending kill from outside hitter Kaelyn Thierolf.
“The girls have got guts,” coach Thierolf said. “They just have fight, and I love it. They could have easily just laid down and died, but they didn’t want to go home.”
Katey Ehrlich went 20 for 21 hitting, with Kaelyn Thierolf (17/19), Montana Percell (10/12) and Megan Richmond (16/20) contributing, too.
In the semifinals, the Warriors received a bit of a shock, losing to No. 2 seed Berean Academy, 25-12. But Marion rallied in the second game, trading leads with Berean. In the end, Berean prevailed, 25-23, to advance to the championship.
“It was just a step up from what we saw (in pool play), hitting and serving-wise,” Thierolf said. “We just have to work on our servicing and passing.”
In the battle for third, Marion squared off with the host team and claimed a 25-19, 25-15, victory.
“In the second set, Centre had gone ahead 12-7, but Katey Ehrlich had an impressive serving series, serving point 8 through 21 for us in the second set to help secure the win.”
Canton-Galva triangular—Marion held a narrow lead over Hutch Trinity until midway through the first set, when the Celtics tied it at 8-8 and went on to take a 25-18 victory Sept. 4. Trinity won the second game, 25-14, to claim the match.
“We’ve got to stop those long runs,” coach Deanna Thierolf said. “We couldn’t handle the top spin jump serve and struggled with serve receive.”
Marion defeated the host home in a three-set match to conclude the triangular. The Warriors took an early lead in Game 1, which ended with an ace from Briana Hall for the 25-14 win.
Canton-Galva got the edge on Marion early in the second game, and held on for a 25-21 victory. But Marion turned the tables in the final game, scoring four straight points at the start, then extending the margin to 25-18 at the end.
Katey Ehrlich led Marion in kills against Trinity and was the night’s top hitter. She also led in assists setting and contributed solid passing.
Hall and Megan Richmond each had eight kills, with Kaelyn Thierolf and JayDee Schafers leading the defense with 11 and eight digs, respectively.
Coming—The Warriors were scheduled play at home Tuesday, Sept. 11, before hosting the Marion Spikefest tournament Saturday. Matches begin at 9 a.m.