Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Solon has spent the season climbing up the Class 3A rankings under first-year head coach Mikayla Siddell.
On Tuesday the Spartans ran into an opponent that has made its home at the top of the rankings the past several seasons.
Class 4A second-ranked Marion held off a spirited Spartan squad in the third set to complete a 25-11, 25-18, 25-23 sweep of Class 3A eighth-ranked Solon in a WAMAC East Division showdown in Solon.
“Tonight I was really trying to tell our girls not to hang their heads because we played very well,” Siddell said. “To play at a level this high and be competing with these high-level teams just shows what we can do when we play opponents in our own class.
Solon (19-8, 1-2) WAMAC has been one of the biggest surprises in Class 3A this season.
The Spartans have already surpassed their win total from a season ago while rising to eighth in the 3A rankings.
On Tuesday the Spartans ran into a Marion team that has been one of the best in 4A the past several seasons.
A state semifinalist a year ago that has won more than 30 matches in two of the past two seasons, Marion improved to 19-3 on the season and remained unbeaten in WAMAC play with its sweep of the Spartans on Tuesday.
Michaela Goad had a match-high 13 kills to lead four players with at least six kills in a balanced Marion attack.
“It just shows a lot about Marion because they have been working with that same lineup and already were in that groove,” Siddell said. “We just need to bring that same energy and that focus.”
Marion used a 9-0 run to take control of the opening set on its way to a convincing 25-11 win.
Solon trailed just 11-10 in the second set before the Wolves rattled off four consecutive points to take a 15-10 lead.
“A lot of the volleyball we saw tonight was really high-level,” Siddell said. “I thought we ran some really good plays that I’m hoping will work on some other opponents but tonight they were able to pick up on things.”
Solon didn’t go without a fight on Tuesday.
The Spartans played their best late taking a 16-14 lead in the third set with a 3-0 burst that featured kills from sophomore Yasmine Sell and freshman Jozie Lahr.
“I would say in the third set we definitely tried some more offensive plays and we tried to do what we could to shake up their defense a little bit,” Siddell said. “We switched our lineup tonight to put up a better block and give us more options on offense.”
Solon led 19-16 after a Grace Erwin kill but Marion scored seven of the next eight points to take a 23-20 lead.
The Spartans rallied to tie the set at 23 on an Aly Stahle kill and a pair of Marion hitting errors but the Wolves scored the final two points to complete the sweep.
At the end you started the see the momentum pick up,” Siddell said. “We just have to keep pushing forward.”
Erwin led Solon with eight kills while Stahle added seven and senior Delaney Bombei had five.
Sell, Deike and Lahr all had three kills for Solon.
“We did a lot of adjustments tonight and that is one thing that is hard when you switch the lineup and have to find the groove again,” Siddell said. “We tried some things in practice and tonight putting it in play we saw what worked and what didn’t work.”
Marion 25 25 25
Solon 11 18 23
Aly Stahle 7-0-1, Grace Erwin 8-0-1, Yasmine Sell 3-0-0, Delaney Bombei 5-0-0, Brynn Deike 3-0-0, Jozie Lahr 3-0-0, Totals 29-0-2.
Assists – Brynn Deike 21
Peyton Johnson 6-0-0, Sophia Paulsen 4-1-0, Natalee Hartman 0-1-0, Hope Vanderlinden 7-0-0, Jenna Heinricy 1-0-0, Avery Van Hook 7-4-0, Joslynn Mehaffy 2-0-0, Michaela Goad 13-1-1, Totals 40-7-1.
Assists – Avery Van Hook 33