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Warriors, 3rd in league, set sights on substate crown

Staff writer

A home substate tournament Saturday is the last guaranteed opportunity for Marion’s senior girls to play volleyball, but they won’t be practicing any differently.

“The week before substate, girls sometimes start to freak out and panic,” coach Brea Campbell said. “The best thing to do is keep a routine going. If you start talking about substate and how it’s the last time that they really get a chance to play, they’ll start over-thinking everything.”

The Lady Warriors enter substate coming off a third-place league tournament finish. Results from Tuesday’s dual in Hutchinson were not available by press time.

Marion tied for third at Saturday’s Heart of America league tournament in Bennington.

Marion beat Remington and Bennington in two sets 26-24, 25-18 and 25-14, 28-16 before falling to Sedgwick in three 25-21, 25-27, 25-20. Marion then beat Ell-Saline 25-12, 25-16 before losing in semifinals to Hutchinson Trinity 25-23, 25-19.

There was no third-place match.

“Maybe on paper it doesn’t look like we were as successful as much in league, but these girls, we had to change a lot of things to get where we are, and on Saturday they played phenomenal,” Campbell said. “They knew that we had to go in with a little different mindset.

Revenge, she said, was the mindset.

“Like, we’re going to show everybody what we can really do,” she said. “I’m really proud of them for doing that, because we came out and beat Remington who has beat us twice, we went to three with Sedgwick and almost beat them. We played some of the best matches that we played all season at the league tournament.”

The Lady Warriors will need to continue their strong play Saturday after Marion moved down to 2A and Goessel moved up. Goessel was top-ranked in 1A Division I, and is second in 2A in the latest Kansas Volleyball Association rankings.

Marion has home court advantage.

“We always usually have a really good home turnout for tournaments or matches,” Campbell said. “Usually we can pack the stands and this whole walkway is always filled, but hopefully it’s even more.”

Other teams include Allen-Northern Heights, Canton-Galva, Herington, Hillsboro, Olpe, and Wabaunsee. Bracket seedings are announced today.

Campbell said before the season that her goals for this team were to win league and go to state.

“Sometimes these things just don’t go your way,” she said. “Yeah, that was our goal, but I think we had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where we’re at as a team.”

She said the team did not play with enough energy earlier in the year and she had not found the right lineup.

“Finding the right lineup of what’s going to work, that’s kind of a big test for all volleyball teams,” Campbell said. “We figured out a way this weekend to flip-flop our lineup, and that actually worked against most of these big teams.”

Ahead of Monday’s practice, Campbell said the girls know what they need to do to prepare.

“I think these girls know they’ve got to come and they can’t slack anymore,” she said. “We got to have purposeful practice every single day.”

Revenge, the league tournament mindset, is not the same motivation for substate.

“These girls just have the desire to go to state so bad they will do whatever it takes to actually get us there,” Campbell said.

Only the substate winner moves on to the state tournament.

“As long as the girls keep their confidence up, I think we’re going to be fine,” she said. “I think they’re going to play our heart out. I’m confident that this team can do it.”

Last modified Oct. 19, 2017

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