Warrior girls falter at Centre tournament
The Warriors got out to a fast start at the Centre volleyball tournament Saturday, winning the first two matches in straight sets and the first set of the third match.
During the third match, against the Little River Redskins, momentum faded for Marion and they lost the second set 18-25.
In the third, it looked like they would capture the match with a hard-won set. Freshman Megan Neufeld scored on a contested ball at the net to bring the Warriors within two, 21-23.
That proved to be their last point and Marion lost the final set 21-25.
From there, they proceeded to the semifinal match against the Rural Vista Heat. The Warriors stumbled again and lost in straight sets, 17-25, 17-25.
Following the loss to the Heat, Marion again faced Little River, this time in the third-place match.
They let the game get away early, losing the first set 18-25. The second set looked more lopsided to start, with Marion going down 8-2.
When it looked like the match would be over quickly, the Warriors went on an 8-2 run of their own, evening the score.
Unfortunately for Marion, the Redskins took control again. Little River scored 15 of the next 22 points, securing the set and match.
Part of what killed the momentum late was an injury to Chisolm Waner, Burkholder said. The injury limited her personnel options and Chisolm played sparingly in the final two matches.
Chisolm’s teammates picked up the slack on the receiving end and did a good job keeping the ball alive, Burkholder said.
The Warriors faltered at the net.
“We weren’t as aggressive at the net as they were,” coach Burkholder said. “We struggled a little bit with our blocks. We were there sometimes and we got a touch on the ball, but it was about closing out and finishing the block.”
Hitting accuracy was a challenge.
Through the first three matches, Marion averaged 7.9 kills per set and 6.1 spikes hit out of bounds. In the final two matches, they averaged 6.5 kills and six spikes hit out of bounds per set.
That drop in efficiency did not just mean the team lost out on 1.4 points per game, it also gave the opposition more chances to apply pressure.
Improved play at the net will determine how successful the Warriors will be in 2018.
Last modified Sept. 13, 2018