Marietta volleyball swept by New Philadelphia

JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times Marietta volleyball players Natalie Brooks, left, Alexis Palazzo, center, and Hannah Grosel celebrate after winning a point against New Philadelphia Tuesday in Sutton Gym.

The New Philadelphia volleyball team owns one of the best records in the Mid-Ohio Valley at 15-1, and showed off some of its talent Tuesday at Sutton Gymnasium.

The Quakers swept Marietta High (9-5) by scores of 25-22, 25-14 and 25-16 to pick up their second win over the Tigers this season.

“I thought we served very well tonight,” said NPHS head coach Carla Pry. “We did a nice job of mixing our serves up. We did a nice job and had a lot of aces tonight, so I was really happy with our serving.”

On the other end, Marietta head coach Ron Kidder was not pleased with his team’s performance.

“80 percent of the game is passing and serving, and we couldn’t do it,” he said. “If you can’t pass the ball you can’t win. We struggled passing the ball and we’ve got to work on it.”

Marietta was well within striking distance in the opening set, but the Quakers withstood Marietta’s late 5-0 run and held on to win. Down 22-15, a kill and block by Alexis Palazzo helped bring Marietta within two. But the Quakers responded with the final three points and held on to the momentum from there.

Early leads of 6-2 and 13-5 in the second set prompted Marietta timeouts, but the Tigers were unable to regain the lead. They climbed within two at 16-14, but New Philadelphia scored the final nine points.

“I always tell the girls, ‘They’re a very disciplined team. They’re very well coached, very fundamentally sound,'” Pry said of the Tigers. “We always have to be on our toes when we play Marietta. It’s almost become like kind of a rivalry. We’re both in the Scarlet Division in the ECOL and we usually battle it out for first and second.”

A pair of kills early in the third set by New Philadelphia’s Summer Price put the Quakers up 6-5. Kills by Josie Pry and Samantha Malcolm later stretched the lead to 13-7. It was 18-10 when Natalie Brooks’ kill got Marietta within seven, but New Philly took care of business from there to complete the sweep.

“They served it well,” Kidder said. “We’ve just got to pass it well. We’ve got some work to do and some changes to make. You just can’t do that.”

The Quakers are in the driver’s seat as far as the East Central Ohio League is concerned.

“I’m really, really pleased with where we’re sitting right now at 15-1,” coach Pry said. “We’re in charge of our own destiny in the league.”

The Tigers will go back to the drawing board with Dover coming to town Thursday.

“The rest of the way — we’ve got Dover, Warren, Claymont, River View — I mean, you name it, they’re all good,” Kidder said. “If we don’t play better, we’re not going to win a lot of games. We’ve got to play better all the way around.”