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Marietta defeats rival Warren in three sets

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Marietta’s McKenzie Wright (11) bumps the ball as teammates Sydney Wright (21) and Maddy Muntz (1) look on during a high school volleyball match Tuesday in Vincent.

VINCENT — Marietta received match-highs of 12 kills from Sophie Evans, 29 assists by Maddy Muntz and Sydney Wright double-doubled with 10 downed spikes and as many digs here Tuesday night as the visiting Tigers roared past Warren 25-22, 25-17 and 25-21.

The Warriors of first-year head coach Dan Proctor dropped their fifth straight and will carry a 2-7 record into Saturday afternoon’s match at Vinton County.

“Marietta is always a tough team. It’s always fun to play them,” said Proctor, whose squad was led by Autumn Miller’s seven kills and nine blocks along with Haylee Morgan’s 16 assists and Gracee Goodwin’s 4.5 blocks.

“We got to finish when we get up or when we get close to the end. We got to be able to hang with them. They run a quick offense and we have some trouble reading sometimes, but we’ll adjust.”

An ace by Warren’s Hallie Northrop had the opening set even at six, but the Tigers pulled through in the best-of-five match when Wright registered a kill for set point.

A string of three service tallies by Melanie Rhodes had the hosts up 7-6 in set two, but the Tigers used service points from Muntz and Emily Arnold along with kills by Wright and Grace Wojcik, who added 10 digs, to forge ahead 14-13.

Northrop served Warren even at 14-all when the Tigers were called for being in the net, but the visitors scored 11 of the final 14 points to take a commanding two sets to none advantage. Muntz’ second-hit kill sealed set point.

Consecutive downed spikes by Wright got the Tigers going quickly in set three, but a pair of attack errors with Morgan at the service line squared it at three-all. Although Goodwin and Kelly Jackson combined for a double-block to stay within two at 6-4, Marietta was too much and eventually finished off match point when libero McKenzie Wright, who had a baker’s dozen digs, made a pass to Muntz, who set it up for an Arnold kill.

“No, not really,” replied MHS boss Ron Kidder after the match when asked if he was pleased with the showing.

“We didn’t play up to our ability tonight. We come in here and Warren is a well coached team, give them credit, and we came in here to play, it’s a rival game and we think we’re just going to come in here and win and that’s what we looked like. You got to stay focused and you got to have leaders and the leaders have to get focused and get the team focused. Tonight we just didn’t do that.

“We play a lot of other teams and we’re not going to win. We didn’t play well tonight. A couple kids played OK. I thought our freshman Kate Evans (three aces, five kills, six digs) played well. It’s a rivalry and we won and we’ll take it. Practice will be interesting tomorrow. We’re going to have to get their attention. When we play we’re good. You can’t win a championship and have these kinds of letdowns. Sooner or later someone is going to get you.”

Warren libero Lakyn Ellenwood had two aces and teammate Kali Wells finished with five kills.

Marietta will put its 8-2 record on the line at 7 p.m. Thursday with a dual at Cambridge.

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