Carys Gossett of MHS goes up for a block Monday evening against Westerville North. The Lady Monarchs fell to the Warriors, 3-1, during the Division I tournament match. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Marysville High School assistant volleyball coach Monica Miller said it best Monday evening … “The tournament can be unpredictable.”
She could not have been more correct as the No. 21-seeded Lady Monarchs dropped a 3-1 Division I post-season verdict on their home court.
Marysville finished the season with a 10-13 record after a 17-25, 25-18, 23-25, 11-25 setback at the hands of No. 29 Westerville North (9-14).
“We didn’t bring energy during the first set and we played with fear,” said MHS head coach Bethany Bentz.
The Warriors, led by a solid front line of 6-2 Savana Gurr, 6-0 Grace Link and 5-10 Kori McClure, controlled net action for much of the opening game.
Cici Harris put down a kill that gave Westerville North an 11-4 lead.
MHS went on a run that included an ace serve from Ella Morris and narrowed the gap to 13-10.
That, however, was as close as the Lady Monarchs could get for the remainder of the set.
Marysville suffered some hitting miscues over the next few minutes.
Gurr slammed a kill that pushed the visitors out to a 20-12 advantage.
Abby Altizer recorded a kill for Marysville, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Warriors’ advantage at the net.
Hitting errors by the Lady Monarchs gave Westerville North the victory during the opening game.
The ensuing set was evenly played in the early going with a handful of stalemates and lead changes.
Madison Fluharty gave MHS a kill that knotted the battle at 12-all.
The Lady Monarchs took advantage of North hitting and passing mistakes to build a 16-13 edge.
Carys Gossett blasted a kill for a 17-13 MHS lead.
Marysville constructed a 22-15 margin when Jillian Gardner and Altizer teamed for a block.
McClure notched a pair of kills, but they weren’t able to put much of a dent in Marysville’s upper hand.
A tip by Natalie McNicholas put MHS at set point, 24-18.
Morris came through with a kill that tied the match at 1-1.
“We came back and played Monarch volleyball in that set,” said Bentz.
Marysville jumped out to an 8-1 lead to begin the third game.
Once again, however, North’s front line began to assert its power.
Kills from McClure and Link enabled the Westerville team to eventually tie the battle at 12-all.
The game was later deadlocked at points 15, 16 and 17.
McClure and Lauren Armstrong teamed for a block that pushed the Warriors to an 18-17 edge.
Elle Martter’s ace serve for Marysville later tied the fierce competition at 20-20.
Gossett and Fluharty went up for a block that elevated MHS to a 22-20 edge.
The set was tied at 23-all before a pair of Monarch hitting errors gave the Warriors the set victory and a 2-1 lead in games.
Westerville North notched a pair of ace serves as it held a 5-3 lead early in the fourth game.
Katie Palmer’s kill later narrowed the Lady Monarchs’ deficit to 9-6.
The Lady Warriors, however, began to pull away.
They rose to an 18-7 margin on an ace serve from Grace McGeorge.
Fluharty’s next kill momentarily halted the Warriors’ momentum.
The visitors, though, quickly returned to form.
They reached a 19-9 advantage when an MHS block went astray.
Serving and hitting miscues by North gave Marysville its final two points of the season.
The Warriors controlled the net over the next few minutes to win the match.
“Westerville North has a strong front line and big blockers,” said Bentz.
McNicholas led the Lady Monarchs’ work at the net with 11 kills.
Gardner tallied nine, Fluharty finished with eight and Gossett notched six.
Altizer came through with a trio of blocks.
Despite the loss, the MHS coach was pleased with the season.
“The girls overcame injuries and learned a lot of volleyball this year,” said Bentz. “They moved the dial in the right direction for this program and we will be back.”