MARSHALL - After claiming the title at the Bachman Invitational at Lakeville North on Saturday, the Marshall volleyball team wanted to focus on itself.
And the Tigers were able to do that and come away with a three-set sweep of Sioux Falls, S.D. Lincoln on Tuesday night.
"We didn't know a whole lot about them, but sometimes that's alright because it forces you to focus more on what you do on your side of the net," said Marshall head coach Dan Westby. "I think we did a good job of that in the first set, but we kind of got away from it midway through the second set and in the third set."
Photo by Alex Oey
Marshall’s Marah Mulso jumps before blocking the hit of Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Steph Buss during a non-conference match Tuesday at Marshall High School. The Tigers swept the Patriots 3-0.
Photo by Alex Oey
Marshall’s Sydney Griffin (2) and Callie Graff (5) attempt to defend the hit of Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Maddie Schultz during a non-conference match Tuesday at MHS.
Marshall started off strong and jumped out to a 9-4 lead with a five-point run with Kenzie Beekman serving.
"Not knowing Lincoln we had to focus and control our side of the net," said Beekman. "We couldn't sit back and wait for them and see what they were going to do."
Lincoln gained a point back, but with Hannah Bennett serving, the Tigers went on a tear, scoring nine straight points, including kills from Sydney Griffin, Callie Graff and Lexi Saugstad. After the Patriots' Maddie Schultz scored a kill, Marshall led 19-6.
"We were focusing and served really well early," said Griffin.
The Tigers quickly scored the remining six points to end Set 1 with a 25-9 win.
"I thought we served pretty well and made it difficult for them to pass," Westby said. "That has to continue to be a staple for us every night."
In the second set, Saugstad picked things right up, starting out with a seven-point serving run. The Tigers took advantage of several Sioux Falls errors to go up 7-1.
Another huge run with split serving from Beekman and Haley Bennett gave Marshall a commanding 21-8 lead. Marah Mulso pitched in two kills and two blocks while Griffin and Saugstad each added a kill.
But the Patriots weren't ready to quit, going on a short run to make it 23-13, but the Tigers finished the 25-14 win with a kill from Haley Bennett.
"Lincoln started taking some swings and started feeling a little confidence," said Westby. "Then it was tough."
Sioux Falls carried their momentum over from the second set and played Marshall strong to start the third set.
The Patriots took their first lead of the match and held it several times, eventually forcing Marshall to use its first time out of the night with Sioux Falls up 10-9.
"We were just disappointed in the mistakes we were making," Westby said. "At that point we had three service errors."
Another kill from the Patriots and they held their biggest lead of the night at 11-9 before Marshall was able to end the run.
"We needed to focus and make smart plays," Griffin said. "We couldn't give up so many errors."
Trailing midway through the set, Marshall went back to what it was doing best ... serving.
Rachel Sanow stepped back and served eight straight points, including three of her four ace serves to put the Tigers back up on top 19-13. Beekman and Griffin each came away with kills and Mulso had a big block in the run.
"It was our errors and our lack of focus," Beekman said. "We had to focus in and things started going our way."
After the run, the teams traded points back and forth, ending with a 25-16 win and sweep for the Tigers.
"We need to be more consistent Thursday night,"?said Westby. Pipestone Area will be here and it's a conference match.
"We need to be consistent all the way through."
MARSHALL 3, S.F.?LINCOLN 0
S.F. Lincoln8 14 16
Marshall25 25 25
SERVING (Made-Attempted-Aces) - Marshall (Rachel Sanow 14-15-4, Lexi Saugstad 13-14-3, Hannah Bennett 13-13-2, Kenzie Beekman 13-14-1).
KILLS - Marshall (Beekman 10, Sydney Griffin 9, Callie Graff 7, Saugstad 6).
DIGS - Marshall (Bennett 17, Sanow 7, Beekman 6, Griffin 5).
ASSISTS - Marshall (Griffin 17, Sanow 14).
BLOCKS - Marshall (Marah Mulso 4, Griffin 2).
RECORD - Sioux Falls Lincoln (5-8); Marshall (21-3).
NEXT?MATCH - Marshall (hosts Pipestone Area on Thursday).