’Cats squeeze out sweep of ’Splitters
Up-and-down night ends in 3-0 win for MHS in home debut
It was not a perfect outing for Marshalltown volleyball Tuesday night.
The Bobcats committed too many service errors and were inconsistent on offense. They allowed DM Lincoln to control much of the proceedings in the third set. And yet, the Bobcats swept the Railsplitters (0-4) to move to 2-0 on the season and win head coach Kaylee Peschong’s first home game at the helm, leaving Peschong a happy camper.
“I thought we had really great leadership,” Peschong said. “I thought we stayed positive through it all, and I thought we had just great energy tonight.”
Marshalltown was caught in a back-and-forth first set, with momentum swings constant and neither team able to get into a groove on the offensive end. The inconsistency was something Peschong said they’ll have to fix throughout the season as practice time becomes more crucial. The Bobcats started the season without as much practice time as some other CIML teams due to the aftermath of the Aug. 10 derecho forcing the team to cancel a few practices since the school was without power.
Finding a late burst to close out the set, the Bobcats went up 1-0 after a 25-22 win. The second set was more straightforward and included Marshalltown’s best stretch of the match. Leading from start to finish and getting good production from Sophie Younkin and Hayden Oetker on the front line, the Bobcats took a 25-17 win in set two and had a firm grasp on a victory.
Younkin led Marshalltown with 20 kills on the night. As a team, Marshalltown had 44 kills — Oetker had 14, Brittany Sichra had five, Emma Bair had two and TaMairra Johnson had one. Marshalltown had six aces — two each from Sichra and Kyra Feldman and one apiece from Sydney Faltys and Oetker.
Lincoln got off to a quick 6-2 start and rattled the Bobcats in set three, fighting for a chance to keep the match going. The Railsplitters led 10-7 at one point and kept Marshalltown at arms’ length until the score was 12-12. Then it was 16-16. Then it was 20-20. The two teams kept it close.
Marshalltown had a 24-21 lead and was one point away from closing the game out before three-straight Lincoln points meant overtime. After falling down 26-25, three-straight points was enough to kill the game off. The defense stepped up when it mattered for the Bobcats.
Marshalltown had 56 digs and was very active, led by Feldman with 26. Lyris Kapauou had nine and Younkin had seven, then it was Faltys with six, Oetker with four, Sichra with three and Bair with one.
The close sets were important to prepare this team for a tough season, Peschong said.
“I think it was super important for us to pull those off,” Peschong said. “I think that through all those ups and downs we stayed confident, which always gives us the upper hand given all those momentum shifts.”
Marshalltown plays next in a quad invitational Thursday at home against Solon, Waverly Shell-Rock and Columbus Catholic.