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No. 7 Warriors withstand MHS

Waukee takes down Bobcat netters in 4

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown junior middle hitter Autumn Finch (9) tries to dump the ball over Waukee defenders Alexa Sammler (12) and Layanna Green (4) during Tuesday’s volleyball match at the Roundhouse. The Class 5A No 7 Warriors won the match in four sets.

On the surface, the Marshalltown volleyball team lost a game where it was a heavy underdog — a 3-1 home decision to the Class 5A No. 7 Waukee Warriors (3-3), a state title contender.

But the Bobcats (3-3) didn’t play like the underdogs Tuesday night at home in a Senior Night against the Warriors, a big takeaway for first-year head coach Kaylee Peschong.

“We fought really hard and did a lot of really great things, which was awesome to see,” Peschong said. “I was really proud of how we fought, and honestly we came out hot from the get-go.”

The Bobcats came out strong in the first set, taking an early lead and surprising the Warriors with their aggression. The Bobcats held a 19-16 lead late in the set and forced a timeout from Waukee. Marshalltown had a 23-22 lead and stood in with a real chance to win, but a late burst from the Warriors took the set.

Peschong said it felt like a missed opportunity to keep the Warriors at bay.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

“I felt like that first set was a really solid volleyball game,” Peschong said. “I really proud of how we took that momentum, even though we lost the first set, into the second game.”

The second set was when Marshalltown got over the hump and took a win.

After being in the lead for most of the set, it felt like deja vu as Waukee took a late lead and pushed the Bobcats to the limit. They had to go over 25, but they tied the game up and got the crowd into the action.

The momentum carried over into what was an early lead in set three, continuing a trend of catching Waukee off guard early. But in this set, Waukee’s star player, senior middle hitter Layanna Green, took over and caused major problems for the Marshalltown defense.

With an array of tips and spikes — as well as multiple well-timed kicks to keep the ball in play — Green almost singlehandedly turned the tide of the match in the Warriors’ favor. Waukee stormed to a 25-20 win and seized momentum for good. Peschong said it looked like the Bobcats began to lose confidence in the fourth and final set as Waukee got into a rhythm.

Marshalltown briefly led 2-0 and 13-12 but the Warriors eventually coasted to a match-clinching 25-17 victory.

Autumn Finch made her return to action in the game after playing in the season-opener against East and missing the last four games with an injury. Finch was rusty at times but Peschong said she likes what Finch adds to the front line.

“She adds a ton of height, but she also adds that huge competitiveness,” Peschong said. “She just really wants to win, which is so awesome to see.”

The Bobcats had 31 kills on the night, led by 11 from Hayden Oetker and seven each from Finch and Sophie Younkin. Senior Brittany Sichra had five and Khloe Shipley had one. Sydney Faltys had 28 of the team’s 30 assists — senior Kyra Feldman and Shipley got one each. The Bobcats committed 29 errors.

Defensively, Marshalltown had nine blocks, again led by Oetker with four. Finch had two, and Younkin and Shipley got one each. Feldman led the team in digs with 17, with Younkin also in double digits at 13. Oetker again led the team in aces with five, while Sichra and Faltys had two each and Feldman got one. Five seniors were honored at the game: Sichra, Feldman, Emma Bair, Lyris Kapayou and Drew Carson.

Up next for the Bobcats on their current schedule is a trip to Ankeny Centennial on Sep. 22 because of the cancellation of a scheduled Sep. 14 road game against Ames. There is a possibility that games will be added before the trip to play the Jaguars.

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