Marion volleyball ends season in first round

Marion senior Jessi Lewman uses a soft lob to get past Herington’s middle blocker during the Class 2A sub-state on Saturday. Marion lost to the Railers in three sets during the opening round.Marion made an early exit from the Class 2A sub-state volleyball tournament the Warriors hosted Saturday.

As the No. 3 seed with a 23-13 record, Marion was paired with No. 6 Herington (15-21) in the quarterfinals and lost a three-set match.

Marion won Set 1, 25-20, but lost Sets 2 and 3, 27-25 and 25-23.

“We came out very strong against Herington, and I was really proud of the girls for that,” coach Brea Campbell said. “They had the energy, and they were so excited to play. We came out ahead right away, but later on in the first set, we started to get settled in, and unfortunately that led to a small comeback from Herington.

“The second (set), we got down right away and dug ourselves a hole. We did make a huge comeback and fought till the end, but Herington ended up taking (Set) 2 from us. The third (set) started like the second. I think we just got nervous.”

Herington went on to lose to No. 2 Olpe in the semifinals, 25-18, 25-15. Olpe advanced to the championship match, losing to top seeded and undefeated Goessel, 25-22, 25-8.

Marion concludes the season with an overall record of 23-14, having won a non-league match with Central Christian Tuesday, 12-25, 25-17, 25-10, 25-19.

“I am very proud of these girls for all that they have accomplished,” Campbell said while reflecting on the season. “We went through a lot of lineups, and it took us awhile to find one that really meshed well, and the girls were pretty open to that for the most part.

“I know the season didn’t end how they wanted, but they have nothing to hang their heads about. They made huge strides in the players and team they were becoming.

For six seniors, this was their final time in a Warrior volleyball jersey: Bailey Baker, Kourtney Hansen, Courtney Herzet, Jessi Lewman, Alli Molleker and Sam Richmond.

“Kourtney was this year’s captain, and she stepped up as a leader,” Campbell said. “She was an all-around great volleyball player, and she knew what this team needed to do in order to become better.

“Alli was probably the most improved since last year, not only as a player but as a person as well.

“Jessi was a fantastic blocker, and she improved her hitting immensely from last year. She was extremely aggressive at the net.

“Bailey was the most consistent player I have ever seen, which is a great thing. She was a huge leader for us.

“Courtney stepped into a big position this year: libero. She did a fantastic job.

“Sam again took on a large role for our team, becoming the second setter on the team. I am very proud of her.”

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