The Marion volleyball team won the Centre tournament Saturday with a perfect, 5-0, record, losing only one set the duration of the tournament.
Marion opened pool play with a dominating 2-0 victory over Word of Life (25-5, 25-4). During the game, setter Kirsten Hansen saw her first action on the court since suffering a knee injury in basketball season last March.
?Having both the Hansen girls on the court, that?s a threat,? coach Brady Hudson said. ?They just know the game so well. They know where to place the ball, what holes are open, and they also listen to each other very well.?
After a dominating first-game win, the Warriors? next opponent, Rural Vista, provided more of a challenge. In what ended up being their only loss of the day, Marion lost Set 1, 25-21, but bounced back with a 25-18 victory in Set 2.
Despite trailing in both the second and third sets, the Warriors emerged victorious, 25-21, in Set 3 to win the match.
?We had a couple misses and just stuck our heads in the dirt and didn?t want to come back out until we had to fight,? Hudson said. ? We shouldn?t have lost (the first set), but like I said, we?re learning.?
The Warriors faced Little River in their final game of pool play and earned a 2-0 victory. Marion showed strong attacking at the net and won both sets (25-19, 25-18).
Marion advanced out of pool play to face Berean Academy in the semifinals. Berean earned a 2-1 record in pool play with wins over Northfield and Centre and a loss to Herington.
Marion defeated Berean in two sets, but the Berean Warriors gave the Warriors from Marion a run for their money in Set 1.
Neither team held more than a three-point advantage in the set, as it proved to be a back-and-forth battle from the start. Tied at 19-19, the teams traded points until Julia Hall followed a Sam Davies kill with a service ace to put Marion in front 24-22. Berean scored three unanswered points before Marion tied it and earned the next two points, winning the set on a Davies block, 27-25.
Marion never trailed in Set 2, and aside from a 2-2 tie, held the advantage the rest of the way and built to their largest lead at the end on a Hall kill, 25-15.
The tournament culminated with a 2-0 Marion victory over Rural Vista in the teams? second meeting. To get to the championship game, Rural Vista defeated Herington in two sets.
In Set 1, Rural Vista claimed the first two points, but Marion quickly tied the game and never trailed again. The Warriors enjoyed a 10-point advantage, 19-9, thanks to a Kirsten Hansen kill and never looked back en-route to a 25-16 victory.
Things started well enough in Set 2 as Marion took an early 3-0 lead. But Rural Vista did not give up without a fight, tying the game at 5 and using a 9-1 burst to build a 14-6 lead. With Rural Vista leading 18-13, Julia Hall ignited an 8-0 Warrior surge with a kill. A kill from Marissa Jacobson put Marion in front, 21-18, and the Warriors never trailed again. The set ended with a Jacobson kill for a 25-20 victory. Hall and Kirsten Hansen were named to the all-tournament team.
Marion?The Warriors swept their home-opener Tuesday night. Coach Brady Hudson praised his team?s first performance.
?Their enthusiasm today was amazing,? Hudson said. ?It was, by far, more than my expectations were for them. They surpassed it.?
Marion opened with a 2-0 victory over Wichita Home School. In Set 1, Marion jumped to a 4-0 lead and increased it to 7-2 on a Sam Davies kill. With Marion leading, 16-7, WHS made a run to draw within 16-11. But Marion cruised to a 25-11 victory behind the strong serving of Bailey Robson.
In Set 2, Marion trailed only once at 1-0 before a Julia Hall kill evened the score. That was the start of an 8-0 Marion burst, capped by a second Hall kill. The closest WHS got after that was 13-9, and Marion pulled away to win, 25-14.
In the nightcap, Marion gained a 2-0 victory over Canton-Galva.
The Warriors took a 9-1 advantage out of the gate after an ace serve by Hall. With Marion leading 17-9, the Eagles narrowed the gap to 17-14, but Marion cruised to a 25-14 victory.
Canton-Galva took a 1-0 lead in Set 2 before Marion scored five unanswered points. But the Eagles hung around, twice drawing within one point before an ace serve by Kourtney Hansen gave Marion an 18-11 lead.
Again the Eagles battled back, using a kill by Emily Ballantyne and later an ace serve by Autumn Colgin that put them within 22-19.
Robson countered with a kill, but the Eagles scored three points to close the gap to 23-22. A Shelby Felvus kill and ace serve sealed the win for Marion, 25-22.
?(We) struggled in the first set against Marion, never really gaining solid footing,? said Canton-Galva coach Jenny Loyd. ?We did come back in set two and had a stretch of good volleyball against Marion, but too little, too late did us in.
For Marion, Hudson spoke well of the Warriors? ?phenomenal??passing, but said he would like to see improved serve-receive, defense and communication.
Coming?Marion (7-0) was scheduled to compete at Bennington Tuesday and will host the Marion Spikefest Saturday at 9 a.m.