MHSAA Class A volleyball: Marquette drubbed by Traverse City West in district semifinal

MARQUETTE – Much to their chagrin, the Marquette Senior High School volleyball Redettes were no match for Traverse City West Wednesday night.

The visiting Titans jumped of to a 7-1 first set lead and never looked back, sweeping MSHS 25-6, 25-11, 25-11 in an MHSAA Class A district tournament semifinal match held at Bothwell Middle School.

So dominant was TC West that the match – including six Redette time outs – took just 40 minutes to complete.

“We worked hard in trying to prepare the girls for the level of play they were going to see (against the Titans),” MSHS head coach Mike Morgan said.

“But obviously, I didn’t do a good enough job getting them to understand that level of play. I didn’t find the right buttons to push to get them to play the way they’re capable of playing.”

TC West, now 35-8-1 overall, will host TC Central at 1 p.m. Saturday for the district title.

“We’re a strong team,” Titans head coach Emily Baumann said. “We didn’t let balls hit the floor tonight and we didn’t have a lot of errors.

“But, we were still a little sluggish.”

Katie Placek recorded 10 kills and teammate Anna O’Hara nine for the Titans. Mattison Mokanyk posted four aces and 28 assists, while Alyson Peters came up with three aces and eight digs.

TC West totaled 34 kills to just 13 for MSHS.

“They were very aggressive with their serving,” said Morgan, whose team last played a week ago. “But we didn’t pass the ball well.

“We can attribute some of that to nerves, but you can’t get untracked if you don’t pass well.”

TC West took that early 7-1 lead and then went on an 8-3 run to make it 15-4 before cruising to the first game win.

“Normally, we start off slow,” Baumann said. “But starting out a little quicker and getting a couple of points right off the bat definitely helped us stay on top the whole match.”

Game 2 again saw the Titans get out of the gate quickly. Four kills by Placek sparked an 11-2 lead and the Redettes couldn’t recover despite two kills apiece from Hunter Viitala and Taylor Smith.

Viitala paced MSHS with six kills and four digs on the night. Smith added four kills and Courtney McGovern collected 11 assists.

The Redettes stayed with the Titans longer in the third set, trailing just 11-7 at one point after two Viitala kills.

But the Titans went on a 10-3 run with the help of two Marie Savoie kills before putting the game – and the match – on ice.

“Our layoff had some impact, but we had some good, aggressive practices,” Morgan said. “We just know we have some work to do.”