The Marietta Tiger volleyball team spotted New Philadelphia the first game before reeling off three consecutive victories to down the Quakers in an East Central Ohio League battle Thursday night at Sutton Gymnasium.
New Philly claimed the first game by a 25-23 margin before the Tigers swept the final three games by scores of 25-20, 25-12, and 25-23.
"We played with a lot of heart out there tonight," said Tiger head coach Ron Kidder. "We have five seniors that just played their hearts out tonight."
The Tigers came into the game looking to bestow some revenge on the Quakers after dropping a hard fought 3-2 contest in New Philadelphia just two weeks ago.
Adding to the drama for Kidder and his squad was the fact that several of his Tiger spikers had been under the weather this week.
"We've had kids sick all week," said Kidder of his girls who competed there third game in four days. "They just weren't healthy, but to play the way they played was just a great job."
At Marietta High School
Marietta d. New Philadelphia 23-25, 25-20, 25-12, 25-23
Marietta (13-4, 5-2)
Kaitlyn Cozzens: 15 pts, 6 aces, 2 kills, 32 assists, 8 digs, Abby Harrison: 8 points, Mattie Miller: 8 pts, 2 aces, 7 digs, Gracie Haas: 1 pt, 7 kills, 2 blocks, Lexi Walsh: 11 pts, i ace, 35 digs, Holly Hutchinson: 3 kills, 2 digs, 1 block, Lain Weppler: 7 kills, 3 digs, Kourtney Crum: 7 pts, 1 ace, 1 kill, 10 digs, Haley Bonar: 5 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks, Kristen Hill: 14 kills, 12 digs, 1 block.
J.V. Game: New Philadelphia d. Marietta: 25-15, 25-17.
Next Game: Marietta at Cambridge Tuesday, Oct. 2.
The Quakers edged the Tigers in the first match largely due to the play around the net of Laini Leindecker.
With the game tied at 10-10, the two teams swapped the next 10 points with all five of New Philadelphia's points coming from Leindecker.
Marietta senior Haley Bonar, who went head to head against Leindecker for most of the evening, was impressed with the Quaker hitter, but more impressed with the teamwork displayed by her Tiger team.
"She is definitely a really good player there's no doubt about that," said Bonar, who contributed five kills, four digs, and two blocks to the orange and black attack. "But we worked great as a team, passing and blocking and were able to stop her."
Down by a game, MHS scored the first four points of the second game to take the early lead and then after New Philadelphia evened things up, put together another four-point run late in the game to even the match at 1-1.
"The first game we started off a little slow," said senior Kaitlynn Cozzens, the Tiger setter who tallied 32 assists, 15 points, 6 aces, and a pair of kills in the game. "We just really played cohesive and played together and played with a lot of excitement."
Game 3 would prove to be the pivotal one for the Tigers.
With the two teams tied at 8-8, Marietta went off on a 6-0 run capped by a pair of aces from Cozzens to take a 14-8 lead.
After the Quakers answered with a pair of points, the Tigers grabbed the next seven points, two of them coming from senior Kristen Hill to take a commanding 21-10 lead.
"We all came together as a team," said Hill, who finished the game with 14 kills, 12 digs, and one block. "I think we just got excited and we were really focused in that third game."
New Philadelphia jumped out to a 15-12 lead in the finale, but the determined Tigers would rally to go on a 5-0 run late in the game to take a 20-18 lead that they never would surrender.
"They had the one big hitter (Leindecker) so we had to be sure to follow her," said Tiger senior Lexi Walsh, who is recovering from knee surgery last year. "We really needed this win to help get us back towards the front in the league standings."
One of the Tiger players who was under the weather prior to the game, Kourtney Crum, felt that the Tigers success serving the ball played a key role in the win.
"We've been struggling with our serving lately and I thought that went really well tonight," said Crum, who scored seven points to go along with 10 digs in the game. "We just played really well as a team."
The win improved the Tigers season record to 13-4 and 5-2 in the ECOL, while the Quakers fell to 12-4 overall and 6-3 in conference play. "We wanted to control the game tonight and we did," said Kidder, whose victory was the 299th of his coaching career. "We served well, passed well, just an overall great team effort."
The Tigers will get a few days to recover before traveling to Cambridge Tuesday for another conference matchup.