Goshen, Ind. – It took four sets to get the job done Wednesday night as the Marian volleyball team began Crossroads League play with a 3-1 win at Goshen. Marian won the first set 25-20 before losing the second 25-22. The Knights won the final two sets 25-20 and 25-22, continuing their undefeated start improving to 6-0 overall this season.
In the game’s opening set, neither Marian or Goshen were able to separate themselves as the two teams traded points over the first 20 rallies. The Knights took control in the set as back to back kills from Brooke Hustedde and Anne Strevels sparked a 4-0 run to propel Marian into the lead, going on top 13-11. The score hung at a two point difference as the teams continued to swap points, but a Megan Hawley service ace gave Marian a four-point lead at 18-14. Another kill from Hustedde forced Goshen to take their final timeout of the set with the Knights leading 20-16. Strevels put away the set with a kill to the backline, winning the opening set for Marian 25-20.
The second set did not go as planned for the visiting Knights, as the Maple Leafs controlled the majority of the round. Goshen opened their lead after a stalemate through eight rallies, scoring on 10 of 11 rallies to take a 14-5 lead in the set. Marian did not give in and fought their way out of the hole, taking advantage of multiple Maple Leaf errors as a Hustedde kill found the Knights trailing by four. After forcing a timeout, Madi Heffron dropped a service ace to cut the margin to three but the Maple Leafs held strong and ended Marian’s run. A kill from Sarah Spangler would get Marian within one point at 20-19, but Goshen held strong and closed the set winning 25-22.
Marian bounced back and started the third set with a vengence, scoring the first five points with one coming off of a block by Hustedde and Jai-Lyn Norwood. The Maple Leafs made a run and got back within two of the Knights at 8-6, but that came to a swift end as Skyler Van Note recorded back to back kills pushing the lead back to four. The lead continued to grow as a kill from Hannah Trout put Marian on top 20-13, but the seven point lead did not last as Goshen clawed back within four points. Van Note sealed to the set with a kill and gave Marian a 2-1 lead following the 25-20 win.
The Knights again jumped out to a big lead in the fourth set, taking an early 7-1 lead as Trout and Van Note dropped multiple kills. Goshen would come within one point of Marian as they fought back trailing 11-10, but a service error gave Marian a side out and sparked a run for the visiting team. Three Spangler kills highlighted an 8-2 run giving Marian a 20-13 lead in the set, but a pair of Maple Leaf four-point strings made the game tight once again. Leading by two, Norwood finished off match with a kill down the right sideline, sealing the 25-22 set.
Van Note came one kill short of her career high, finishing the match with a team-high 17 kills. Spangler reached 10 kills, and also finished with one block assist. Heffron had a team best 24 assists while Lexi Spence had 15 to go with eight digs. Megan Hawley had 18 digs while Maggie Meyer chipped in 15, while Norwood had a team high three service aces.
Marian will travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday for day one of the Cornerstone/Aquinas Invitational. The Knights will have a pair of rematches as they will play IU-Kokomo at 6 PM and Cornerstone at 8 PM.