Centre Cougars play short game
Marion’s backline was active on defense at Thursday’s home quad-meet, and the results showed in the box score.
The team averaged 23.8 digs per set. The solid work of the backline allowed the team to pursue more balls at the net, coach Kris Burkholder said.
“We played more aggressively and we had people in the right spot for cover,” she said. “We’ve really worked on being in the right spot and being down so we can get to the ball.”
The difference was especially evident in Marion’s blocking against the Southeast of Saline Trojans. Laura Savage had seven blocks in the first match, and even when they weren’t getting blocks, players were getting one-touches.
Megan Neufeld made an immediate impact when subbed in during the first match. Trailing 6-1, Megan was slotted in at the left end up front, and came away with a block on her first play.
“I think that was a big play for Megan and it gave us a bit of a boost,” Burkholder said.
While the Warriors took chances at the net, they didn’t convert efficiently on hits. They managed 18 kills in the match against the Trojans, but it took 85 hits to get there, and there were 18 hitting errors to go with it.
The hosts dropped the first set, 16-25, but came back to win the next two; 25-19, 25-18.
The most consistent aspect for Marion remains the service game. They managed 63 of 66 successful serves against the Trojans, and scored 40 points across the three sets while serving.
Marion had three players with more than 20 serve attempts. Libero Jayden May totaled 28 serves over five sets, to go with just two errors. Setter Chloe Burkholder, and Chisolm Waner may have done one better, taking 22 serves each, but only giving up one error apiece.
Serving efficiency decreased in the match against the Sacred Heart Knights, with seven errors on 47 attempts.
“We made some errors when we shouldn’t have,” Burkholder said. “The last set against Sacred Heart, we missed probably three serves in the last 10 points.”
After losing the first set 18-25, Marion came back in the second to tie the game 24-24. Despite several key plays to put them up a point, the home team could not snatch the victory. Sacred Heart managed tie the score a third time at 26-26. That proved to be the end for Marion, as the Knights took the set 26-28, winning in straight sets.
There was no third match, because the other visiting team had played too many season matches.
Last modified Sept. 26, 2018