Lady Tigers fall to New Philadelphia

Marietta High’s Carlie Hamilton gets ready to serve during a high school volleyball match against New Philadelphia Tuesday at Sutton Gymnasium. New Philadelphia won in four sets. RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times

Marietta High gave it its best spike.

The Tigers became only the second school this season to win a set against powerhouse New Philadelphia. But in the end, the Division I 20th-ranked and undefeated Quakers prevailed, 3-1, in East Central Ohio League volleyball action Tuesday night at Sutton Gym.

MHS won the third set, 25-22, but dropped the first (17-25), second (20-25), and fourth (14-25) sets.

River View High was the only other school to take a set from New Philly this season, so far.

“New Philadephia’s a good team,” said Marietta coach Ron Kidder. “Give them credit. They can play. That’s why they’re undefeated and ranked. They can all jump serve, and they’re very aggressive with their serves and hit the ball very well. They’re well-coached.”

Kidder paused and smiled.

“You know, we never got manhandled tonight,” the coach continued. “I mean, we took a game (set) from them, and we played hard — and they knew they were in a match. We had some girls play really well tonight, and then we had a couple struggle a little bit. But as a team, we played great, and I’m proud of them.”

The Tigers (9-2) were led by senior cap Natalie Brooks, who recorded 15 kills and 13 digs.

“She played very well and had a great game tonight,” Kidder said. “She put us on her back and carried us tonight. And, that’s the best she’s played all year in my opinion.”

Hannah Kroft and Sydney Wright added 12 and 7 kills, respectively, for Marietta. Setter Morgan Connolly finished with 32 assists, and libero Carlie Hamilton chipped in with 12 digs.

New Philadelphia (9-0) was paced by junior Sabrina Malcolm, who finished with 14 kills and 4 blocks. Anne-Marie Monaco added 9 kills, 17 assists, and 6 points.

Chloe Long also had 17 assists and 7 points, while Josie Pry recorded 13 points and 13 digs. Libero Carly Pry finished with 14 digs and 9 points, while Julia Ress had 12 points and 7 digs.

“We have a lot of athletes on our team,” said NPHS boss Carla Pry. “Everyone of our starters and players play multiple sports.”

During the first set, it was close at the start and tied 8-8 until the Quakers asserted themselves and pulled away from the Tigers.

“You look at that (New Philadelphia) height and you look at how they swing…you know, it’s going to scare you at first,” Kidder said. “I think in the first (set) , it kind of scared us a little bit.”

Early in the second game, Brooks (1) and Kroft (2) combined for three straight kills to knot the score at 6-6. New Philly then grabbed the lead, but MHS hung tough and after a Brooks kill cut it to 18-15, the Quakers called their first timeout of the match.

When play was resumed, NPHS won by five points.

“After the first set, we started playing well,” Kidder said.

Well enough in fact that Marietta never trailed in the third game. With Connolly setting up Brooks, Kroft, and Wright at the net, the Tigers took a 13-4 advantage.

“We started serving better,” Kidder said.

New Philadelphia battled back, though, and cut it to one, 22-21. But MHS was able to weather the rally and won by three points.

“I’ll tell you what happened,” Pry said. “We had a lot of unforced errors (11). We had too many hits in the net and too many out of bounds. Our hitting percentage was not very good in that third set. It was very poor and therefore we lost.”

The Quakers got off to a slow start in the fourth game, but they were not to be denied, and cruised home with the set and match.

“You can’t miss as many serves as we did, and win a set like that,” Kidder said. “And they (Quakers) didn’t miss many serves. It was kind of the difference in the game. But it was a good match.”