After posting the best record in team history, the Marion Warriors’ season was cut short Saturday at the hands of Halstead in the opening round of substate.
The top-seeded Warriors, facing the No. 8 seed Halstead, faltered in three sets, losing 17-25, 25-23, 25-23.
“We were really focused on playing not to lose instead of playing to win, which are two completely different things,” head coach Brea Campbell said. “That psyched the girls out a little bit. They just wanted it so bad that it affected them.”
Senior setter Kirsten Hansen was injured in the game’s opening minutes when she collided with middle blocker Marissa Jacobson and fell awkwardly on her hand.
“We still don’t know what’s wrong with it,” Campbell said Monday. “She came back and was in pain the entire day, but she played through it and was diving everywhere.”
Hansen is one of six seniors the Warriors will lose to graduation. Campbell had nothing but good things to say of the senior class.
“They’re great people,” she said. “I never thought I’d have to tell a team, ‘Go out there and be a little cocky. Have a little swagger to your step.’”
A Salina native in her first year coaching, Campbell was impressed with the support the team had from the community.
“It’s all over town,” she said. “There’s people I haven’t met yet that come up and say, ‘Hey coach, way to win.’ Those girls have a huge support system.”
Campbell said she told the team afterward not to remember the season by Saturday’s upset.
“They have a lot to be proud of, and one day — unfortunately it says whether you’re done or not — but it doesn’t say how good of a team you are,” she said. “We ended our year at 33-4, which is incredible. They played their hearts out all season. It was awesome to watch them get there.”