The first wins of Marion’s volleyball season closely mirrored that of a year ago.
Against Smoky Valley in 2012, the Warriors won 25-23 in the first game of the match, lost 10-25 in the second, and won 25-18 to close the tiebreaker.
This year, the Warriors won the first game 25-23, but fell behind early in the second.
Missed hits and mental errors to open the second game led to a 5-0 run by the Vikings.
Coach Deanna Thierolf said beginning that way cost the team.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you can’t spot another team five points,” she said. “We had a lack of communication, but we’re going to get better at that.”
Marion scored four points in a row behind the serving of Kaelyn Thierolf, but 8-17 was the closest it would get, with Smoky Valley winning the game 14-25.
Like a year before, the Warriors rebounded in the third set, led by a couple of spikes from Julia Hall to start on a 5-1 run.
Smoky Valley brought the score within two at 7-5 before Marion pulled away, twice scoring three times in a row, winning 25-17.
Thierolf said it was a positive for the team to come back and win after having a letdown.
“It’s huge, it really is,” she said. “We need to work on our mental toughness. Volleyball is such a game of momentum.”
The Warriors struggled to find any momentum in their second match against Hoisington, the third-ranked team in the state.
By the time Marion scored its second point in the first game, the Cardinals had scored 21.
“Hoisington’s a tough team,” she said. “They work like a machine.”
The Warriors were more competitive in the second game, but still lost 15-25.
Thierolf said the team did not serve well the first match, but lacked the intensity it had in its match against Smoky Valley.
“I’ll give it up, they had some nice serves, but I don’t think we came out to play like we should have,” she said.