Marion volleyball excels at opening tournament
Fatigue and grit were on full display during the Warriors’ run to the final at Saturday’s Peabody-Burns Volleyball Tournament.
After a shaky first match where Marion dropped the second and third sets to the Solomon Gorillas, the Warriors swept their next two matches.
According to coach Kris Burkholder, the difference was energy.
“The very first set of the first match, we had a lot of energy and then we got down a little bit and didn’t have the enthusiasm and energy,” she said. “We talked about that, and came back and I think we’ve kept that going ever since.”
The Warriors’ matches against the Central-Burden Raiders and the Hartford Jaguars both relied heavily on effective serving.
“I think we’re doing well on our serves,” coach Burkholder said. “We missed serves the first match that we’re not missing now. I think we’re also doing really well on serve-receives.”
Junior Lily Lundy delivered a service ace to close the first set against the Raiders and held service for multiple four-point runs throughout the day.
Having gone 2-1 in their four-team pool, Marion advanced to play the Classical School of Wichita in the winners’ bracket.
The Saints of Wichita would repeatedly test the mettle of the Warriors.
Setter Chloe Burkholder’s serves started the Warriors out strong, getting them out to a 6-0 lead. The Saints pulled their way back and even took the front, going up 9-10. A run of serve-defenses brought Marion up by six again, and from there they took the first set 25-17.
The second set tested them the most, becoming a war of attrition. Marion was down early, 5-8, but they managed to even the score at nine.
It ballooned again from there. Despite repeated efforts from Marion, the Saints went on a 7-0 run following a timeout.
Marion came back again, but they could not put the game away. It was not until extra points where the Warriors went up for good, winning the second set 27-25, completing the sweep.
Upon reaching the final, Marion again faced Solomon, who had shut down the Warriors before. The second affair would not be so one-sided.
The play at the net was particularly competitive, with seemingly every player making a key block or spike when needed. On back-to-back plays, Lily and Laura Savage had kills to put the Warriors up in the first set.
For all the effort and contributions, they fell short in the first set.
By the second set, it seemed the ball had caught up to Marion. The ball was not falling their way early and Solomon opened the scoring 3-7. Just when it seemed the Gorillas would make a run, the Warriors got digs from Chisholm Waner and libero Jayden May, and went on to take the lead, 8-7.
They followed it up by opening a four-point lead of their own, forcing a timeout with a 13-9 lead.
With the score 16-11, Tori Schults put forth a strong serve that was an ace in all but name.
After Marion reached 17, the Gorillas climbed their way back. Solomon tied the score at 17, forcing Burkholder to call timeout. The dogfight was on again.
Sitting on the edge of elimination, Corrina Crabb and Laura blocked a dink from Solomon, getting one opportunity at salvation.
Despite winning the serve, the Warriors could not follow it up, surrendering the set to Solomon 21-25 and concluding their run.
Regardless of losing in straight sets, assistant coach Charlotte Waner was impressed with the ambition of the Warriors.
“I just think that we ran out of energy and we just got tired,” she said. “I do think the girls played very well. They came together as a team and kids stepped up and did what they needed to do.”
Last modified Aug. 30, 2018