Victory No. 400: Ron Kidder reaches milestone as Marietta sweeps Zanesville
The 57-year-old Marietta High boss got his 400th career coaching win Thursday night after the Tigers swept Zanesville High, 25-5, 25-13, and 25-12, in their season opener at Sutton Gymnasium.
“The girls worked hard all summer, and they played well together,” said Kidder, who celebrated a birthday last Saturday. “They’re very athletic and talented, and they looked sharp tonight in the first game of the season.”
Kidder was at the Warren High VB helm for 11 years before going to MHS. He’s starting his 12th year as the Tiger head coach this season.
“You know, when I won my first 100,” Kidder said, “I thought that might be all I’d see. And then, I got 200, 300, and 400. I just look back at how many talented kids I’ve coached and how many parents have been around. I can honestly say that I want to give God credit for everything, because you’ve got to stay healthy. I’m getting older, and I enjoy (coaching).
“I want to give credit to my wife (Tonya), because she’s got to be there for you. And my family’s been there. I’ve had a lot of families at Marietta and at Warren. I just thought I’d never see 400 wins.”
Against winless ZHS (0-4), Marietta hitters’ Hannah Kroft, Betsy Wriston, Sydney Wright, and Sophie Evans combined for 29 kills. As a team, the Tigers had 38 kills and 16 aces. Wright had a team-high six aces to go along with six kills.
“We’ve got the hitters,” Kidder said. “We can hit.”
Added Wriston, who finished with nine kills, “We have a lot of talent at the net this year. We’re just strong all the way around. There’s not just one girl that we can get the ball to. We can get the ball to everyone and trust it.”
Setter Kaitlyn McClead finished with 31 assists and five aces for the winners.
“It’s good to have those big dogs up there,” she said, laughing. “And we’re really excited to get Coach his 400th win.”
Said Wriston, “Kaitlyn really holds the program together. We wouldn’t be able to do anything without her.”
MHS never trailed in the opening set, and led 14-1 at one point. In the second and third games, the Tigers basically cruised.
“We wanted to come out strong,” said Kroft, who finished with a match-high 11 kills, “And we were ready and well-prepared.
“We were also excited and had to win for Coach. So, that’s what we did.”
Jillian Middleton said Marietta is very deep this year.
“If one person is not having a good game, we can always bring someone else in,” she said. “It’s good to have that depth.”
Brooke Copenhaver agreed and added, “This was a big night, because it was the first game of the season and Coach’s 400th win. So, we were all pretty excited for that.”
Marietta defensive specialist Alexus Carpenter summed it all up for the Tigers.
“It was a good rally,” she said. “And we played how we should have played.”
Ron Johnston can be reached at email@example.com