The Marion volleyball team suffered a premature ending to its season by losing a three-set heartbreaker to Halstead in the Class 3A sub-state quarterfinals at Southeast of Saline Saturday.
Marion was the No. 1 seed in the tournament with a 33-3 record, pitting them against the No. 8 Dragons (10-26).
Perhaps foreshadowing how the afternoon would play out, Marion fell behind from the start of Set 1. Warrior errors were responsible for Halstead?s first five points. However, a kill by Shelby Felvus ignited a 4-0 Warrior run to give Marion the lead, 12-9, and the Warriors never trailed again en-route to a 25-17 victory.
Set 2 began much like the first, with Warrior attack errors giving the Dragons an early lead. Marion remained competitive, though, tying the game at 8 with an ace serve by Kourtney Hansen. From there, the Dragons gained distance with a 4-0 run and maintained the advantage. With Marion trailing 22-16 late in the contest, Marion embarked on a 7-1 rally, sparked by a Marshelle Mermis block and fueled by Marissa Jacobson, who sandwiched a pair of kills with a block and polished the run with a block that tied the game at 23. However, a Halstead kill followed by a service ace sealed the Dragons? 25-23 victory.
Set 3 was a back-and-forth battle, as the teams remained within two points of each other the duration of the set. The teams locked heads in a tie 17 times. Jacobson gave Marion a 10-9 lead with consecutive kills, and the teams traded points. Marion led, 23-21, late in the set. Halstead, however, scored the set?s final four points, tying the game at 23, then taking the lead with a service ace. A second ace serve sealed the Dragons? 25-23 victory.
With the loss, Marion concluded the season with a 33-4 record, the best in school history.