Prep volleyball: Marquette takes down Stephenson in four sets

MARQUETTE – Determined to follow through on every ball, the Marquette Senior High School volleyball team defeated Stephenson in four tight sets on Thursday, 25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20 at MSHS.

MSHS head coach Mike Morgan said the Redettes work hard in practice to make sure they never give up on a ball and encouraging that attitude makes a big difference in their play.

“We want to make sure that we make the team work as hard as they can for every point that they go for,” Morgan said. “It felt great to get the win tonight.”

There were a couple stretches of play in which Marquette’s passing was not as tight as Morgan would like to see, but he said the girls fought through and regained control of the ball.

Stephenson held the lead for much of the first set until the Redettes scored six unanswered points, giving them a 22-19 lead over the Eagles. Marquette allowed only one point against them the rest of the set.

Marquette and Stephenson were close to start the second set before the Eagles took off to double the Redettes’ score, 14-7. Marquette was unable to return from the deficit, as the Eagles held a sizable lead for the remainder of the set.

In set three, the Redettes jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a combination of kills, blocks, aces and Eagles errors. Marquette dominated the rest of the set, never allowing Stephenson to come within two points of the Redettes lead.

The fourth and final set was the closest of them all. The teams were tied at eight separate points, the last of them being 19-19. From there, the Redettes took a quick five points to finish the night with a win.

Morgan said he likes facing the Stephenson Eagles because they are guaranteed to put up a good fight against the Redettes.

“They’re tough, they’re big, and they make us work really hard,” Morgan said of the Eagles.

Marquette’s big hitters on the night included senior Tayler Smith, junior Hunter Viitala and junior Morgan Leadbetter, who posted several kills each throughout the four sets.

Viitala led the Redettes with 15 kills while Smith had three blocks. Courtney McGovern led MSHS with 30 assists and three aces while Elle Pearson totaled 11 digs.

Morgan also highlighted Martha Storm’s serving and Destiny Beckwith for a key kill late in the fourth set.

“That was a very good high school volleyball match,” Morgan said. “I thought that our overall level of play was as good as we’ve played all year.”