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Lady Warriors hold serve at home

Staff writer

It sounded like senior Julia Hall was bluffing.

“We’ve got this!” she yelled to her teammates, who echoed her support in the timeout huddle. Marion was down 9-20 in the first set against visiting Moundridge, and head coach Brady Hudson needed to get his team settled and loosened up.

After laughing off a bad start, the Warriors went out with renewed focus and backed up Hall’s words. A 4-1 run turned into an 8-1 run, as the student section rose, chanting “A! B! See ya!” with every series of Marion hits. The 8-1 run turned into an 11-1 run, which turned into a tie game.

Moundridge was on its heels and, down 24-23, returned a serve too hard; it sailed over the back line, and the Marion players, student section, and bench erupted in cheers.

That was only the first set of the match.

Marion would go on to win the match in three grueling sets, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22. Marion trailed most of set three as well, and didn’t get its first lead since 3-2 until taking a late 23-22 advantage.

It was their third win on the night. Marion ousted Sacred Heart High School with ease 25-15, 25-17, and beat Southeast of Saline 25-19, 25-22.

It was the match with Moundridge — who had beaten Marion two nights before — that was the most hard-fought win for the home team.

“Moundridge is a solid, solid team,” Hudson said. “Their defense is solid. I told the girls in the beginning: ‘It’s going to be very hard to find a hole that they can’t cover.’ We had to be a hitting team tonight.”

Hitting isn’t Marion’s biggest strength. Other teams have hitting — more specifically, the tall players who can rise above the net to get good angles on kill attempts. Without a size advantage, Marion uses what it has over other teams: smarts.

“That’s how we won with Southeast of Saline (Thursday), we were just smart,” Hudson said. “When there was a good volley, we threw it to the back, we knew they were all crashing for the defense. When we saw they were triple blocking us, we knew that short corner was open and this short corner was open. Once they started trying to cover that short corner, we pushed it deep.

“We were just smart.”

Marion had support from its student section Thursday, as several boys painted white T-shirts on their chests and spelled out “WARRIORS” in block letters, with players’ numbers on their backs.

“That was the best student section we’ve ever had, and I’m saying that from when I was in school,” said Hudson, himself a Marion High graduate.

Marion played a pair of games Tuesday at Inman. Marion lost to Remington 25-16, 25-18, and bounced back with a win over 25-21, 25-18 Inman.

Last modified Oct. 2, 2014

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