In a day of ups and downs, it came down to a battle royale as the Marion High School Lady Warriors played three games against a tough South Barber team to win third place Saturday in the Belle Plaine Volleyball Tournament.
“We looked awful when we played them in round robin play, just flat, no energy,” head coach Deanna Thierolf said. “But the girls showed some true guts and determination when we had to turn around and play the same team again for third place. We just refused to lose.”
Marion started the day out with a win over Attica, defeating them 25-20 and 25-14. Then they matched up with the host team, Belle Plaine, and faltered in the first and third game of the match, losing 25-21, 17-25, and 25-23.
“That was the most disappointing part of the day,” Thierolf said. “We should have had them, but just didn’t finish it off.”
A boisterous crowd and an overload of school activities in the week prior may have affected Thierolf’s Lady Warriors more than they want to admit, and they lost close games to Trinity Academy, 25-17 and 25-21, before succumbing to South Barber 25-17 and 25-23 in round robin matches.
“We thought we were going home,” Thierolf said. “But we made it into the third place finals on points and turned around to play South Barber again. The girls kicked it into gear. It really was a collective team effort.”
The Lady Warriors lost the first game of the third place battle 25-18, but then dug deep for extra effort in a back-and-forth marathon of a second game, that they won, 32-30.
“That is the highest score we’ve ever compiled,” Thierolf said. “We had some awesome hitting from Katey (Ehrlich) and Briana (Hall), and the bench really stepped up and helped too.”
Marion won the third game of the match 25-23.
For the day, the Lady Warriors served 95 percent as a team. Hall led the team in kills with 27, Kaelyn Thierolf had 17; Katey had 14; Megan Richmond and Montana Percell contributed 12 each; Julia Hall, 10; Kirsten Hansen, 4; and Kelli Hess, 3.
“Katey had a fantastic day setting and hitting for the day,” Thierolf said. “And Briana Hall had a great day leading the team with 27 kills.”
Briana Hall and Ehrlich earned all-tournament team recognition.
Marion ends their regular season at Moundridge on Tuesday with matches against Canton-Galva and Berean Academy.