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Big win for Tigers: Marietta defeats Dover in four sets

Photo by Jordan Holland Marietta’s Sydney Wright (21) hits the ball as Dover’s Reagan Durbin (14) and Cara Detweiler (11) go up for a block during a high school volleyball match Thursday at Sutton Gym. Marietta won in four sets.

Coming off a brutal five-set loss to Gallia Academy in which Marietta held a 2-0 lead, the Tigers needed a bounce back victory Thursday against visiting Dover.

They got just that.

Marietta dropped the first set, 25-20, but won the second 25-20, third 25-17 and fourth 25-19 to come away with the victory.

“Our team had a lot of heart tonight,” said Marietta head coach Ron Kidder. “Coming off a loss, we had a gut-check. They came in for a couple days and worked hard, and it paid off tonight.”

Sydney Wright led the Tigers with 13 kills. Sophie Evans added 10 kills and four aces. Grace Wojcik notched seven digs, five aces, four kills, four assists and one block. Emily Arnold registered eight digs, four kills, three aces and two blocks. Setter Maddy Muntz also had a good all-around game, posting 27 assists, seven digs, five kills and one ace.

Photo by Jordan Holland Marietta's Sophie Evans, right, hits the ball during Thursday's volleyball match against Dover.

“Whole team played well,” Kidder said. “That was a big team win. Lost the first game, bounced right back and won the next three. Give Dover credit. They’re a good team. That team can play, they’re well-coached and they’ve got some nice, athletic kids.”

Trailing 1-0 in the match, Marietta jumped out to a 4-0 lead in set No. 2. Dover rallied to tie it, and the teams went back and forth until it was 16-all. Kills by Wright and Wojcik helped the Tigers go ahead 21-16. Marietta held on from there.

“We definitely had more energy,” Muntz said of the second set. “We were a lot more focused than before.”

Back-to-back kills by Taylor Luneborg put Dover up 2-0 to begin set No. 3. It was 5-2 when Muntz recorded a kill, Wojcik an ace and Sophie Evans a kill to tie things up. Tips by Muntz and Wright helped the Tigers go up 12-7.

“You kind of just have to look at the court when the ball’s in the air,” Wright said of knowing when to tip versus hitting the ball hard.

“Coming back from a losing a big game (against Gallia), to winning a big game, feels really good. I don’t think we’ve ever won against (Dover) in my four years here. So it feels really good to do it my senior year.”

Up 22-17, a tip and an ace by Sophie Evans and a kill by Kate Evans put an end to the set and gave MHS a 2-1 advantage.

“We started getting more accurate with our serves and where we wanted to serve it to,” Kidder noted. “We brought a freshman (Kate Evans) in and she gave us a spark outside. We just got the momentum. Volleyball’s a game of momentum. When you’ve got it, you just ride it and that’s kind of what we did.”

“McKenzie (Wright) dug the ball well,” Kidder added. “That helps.”

The Tigers pulled ahead 6-1 in the fourth set to prompt a Dover timeout. Marietta maintained at least a two-point lead from there until a block and kill by Luneborg knotted the score at 16-all. Wojcik’s block and Wright’s kill, assisted by Muntz, put Marietta up 18-16.

“I was a lot more consistent than I normally am,” Muntz said. “I don’t think I tipped over as much which is good because I need to give them more of a chance to hit.”

Cara Detweiler’s block brought Dover within 23-19, but Sophie Evans put the exclamation point on the win with an ace.

“Coming into the season we had to switch some girls around, put girls in different positions,” Kidder said. “We didn’t get to play all summer, but we’re all in the same boat. I told them it’s early. The loss to Gallia may be good for us. If we learn from it, we’ll be better. I think that was the case tonight.”

Jordan Holland can be reached at jholland@mariettatimes.com.

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