Bobcats finish off Mohawks in 5 sets

Erica Johnson

MASON CITY — An increased presence at the net paved the way for the Marshalltown volleyball team to get its first CIML Iowa Conference road win on Tuesday night, beating Mason City in a five-set thriller, 25-22, 20-25, 27-25, 20-25, 15-6.

The Bobcats (8-11, 2-2) compiled 10 total blocks and got the offense it needed in the fifth set to finish off the host Mohawks (8-17, 0-4). MHS sophomore Autumn Finch had four of her team-leading 16 kills in the fifth set alone, as she was the only Bobcat to record a successful attack in the sudden-death finale.

“It was a very encouraging win for us in five sets on the road,” said MHS head coach Chris Brees. “We dug holes for ourselves in every game except for the last game, but played our way out of it against some impressive heavy hitters on Mason City’s side of the net.

“It’s a good lead-in to Senior Night on Thursday and the start of what could be a good win streak for us if we stay focused.”

MHS senior setter Madi Finch finished with 40 assists to go with three assisted blocks, 14 digs and 16-for-16 serving and two aces.

“I think Madi had a very good offense tonight,” said Brees. “We moved the ball around more tonight than we have been. I think we blocked the ball the best that we have all season, too.”

Autumn led the way with one solo block and four assists, Erica Johnson had one solo and two assists, while Tasia Pohle totaled four assisted blocks.

Offensively, Johnson filed in with 12 kills, Gabby Himes had 11 from the outside, and the rest of the lineup combined for just five kills.

“Gabby had another impressive night for us keeping her outside, and Autumn and Erica continued to be steady for us at the net,” said Brees. “Defensively, Erica was solid again. Our service game was on tonight. Serving 10 aces is a pretty good night.”

Johnson was at the front of that attack, going 28-for-28 serving with a team-high three aces, and her 18 digs led the defense as well. Madi had 14 digs, Kyra Feldman finished with 13, and both Grace Fisher and Mayah Carson had seven digs.

Feldman served 21-for-21 with two aces, Brittany Sichra was 10-for-11 with two aces, and Carson was 6-for-6 with one ace.

The Bobcats play their regular-season home finale on Thursday, hosting Des Moines East at 7:30 p.m. at the Roundhouse.

Marshalltown heads to the Oskaloosa Tournament on Saturday.