Marysville’s Lily Keber blasts a kill against Hilliard Davidson on Tuesday. The Lady Monarchs lost a hard-fought match in three sets.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
For the past several years, there has been a “Big Three” within the Ohio Capital Conference’s Central Division volleyball circles.
Dublin Coffman, Upper Arlington and Hilliard Davidson have comprised a triumvirate that continues to this day.
Davidson, though, was put on notice Tuesday evening that the Marysville Lady Monarchs are a team with which to be reckoned.
The Wildcats defeated Marysville in three sets, but the Lady Monarchs made them work for everything they achieved.
Davidson needed a little extra time to win the opening game, 26-24, fought off a determined MHS squad 25-22 in the middle set and held on for another 25-22 verdict in the nightcap.
The initial game was a see-saw battle that saw neither team mount what could be described as a definitive advantage.
There were stalemates at a number of points along the way, as well as several exchanges in the lead.
A tip by Jazmine Williams gave MHS a 16-14 edge and a combined block from Olivia Herzog and Carissa Baker pushed the home squad out to an 18-15 lead.
Davidson tallied three quick points to tie the game, but Herzog’s kill returned a 19-18 edge to Marysville.
The Lady Monarchs pushed the ball into the antenna for a 19-19 stalemate before Davidson sent the ball flying out of bounds.
A double hit by Hilliard gave Marysville a 21-19 lead.
A pair of MHS hitting errors tied the set before a kill from Williams gave MHS a 22-21 lead.
The Wildcats later regained a 23-22 advantage on Monarch hitting errors.
A hitting miscue on Davidson’s part, though, tied the game at 23.
A Marysville net serve put the Cats up 24-23, but another Davidson hitting mistake tied the set at 24.
The Lady Monarchs were whistled for a four-hit infraction and a long kill by the Wildcats gave them the opening set victory.
The ensuing game was perhaps the Monarchs’ “finest hour” of the entire match.
Down by a 13-9 deficit, they went on a blistering 12-1 run, punctuated by a monster kill from Lily Keber.
Unfortunately for MHS, it was Davidson’s turn for a scoring burst.
An ace serve capped a 10-3 spurt that pushed the visitors out to a 23-21 edge.
Marysville tallied a point on an errant Wildcat block, but an MHS net serve put Davidson at set point, 24-22.
The Lady Monarchs made another hitting miscue that won the game for Davidson.
Kills from Williams and Keber – who combined for 14 on the night – staked Marysville to a 5-2 margin early in the third game.
The set was then tied at points six, nine, 10 and 11.
An ace serve gave Davidson a 12-11 lead and spurred them to an 8-1 run.
Although the Lady Monarchs appeared to be tiring a bit, they kept up a scrappy battle, eventually narrowing the gap to 21-19.
Davidson tallied three quick markers and stood only one point away from victory.
Herzog came up with a kill and Keber recorded an ace serve as Marysville (4-9 overall and 2-3 in the OCC) cut its deficit to 24-22.
A final Wildcat kill, however, ended the match.
“We gave them a great battle,” said MHS coach Bethany Bentz, whose team will travel to Olentangy on Thursday. “Our defense was strong and the girls are becoming smarter volleyball players. They are finding holes in the other team’s defense.”
Madi Bentz led and controlled the Monarch defense with 21 digs.
Kaylee Rich served 26 points and Sara Berkland tallied 13 assists.
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