Tigers rally, defeat Warriors in five sets

MARIETTA – Marietta appeared to be down and out and Warren appeared to be on its way to a season-opening victory Tuesday, but oh, how quickly things can change in volleyball.

Down two games to one to the Warriors in a non-league match at Sutton Gym, the Tigers rallied to win the final two sets of the match to steal victory away from Warren and improve to 2-0 on the year.

“We had some players that didn’t do anything those first couple games,” said MHS coach Ron Kidder. “Those same players woke up there at the end. What a great match.

“Hats off to Warren. They came here to play tonight.”

The Tigers were actually just a single point away from defeat in the fifth and final set. Warren held a 14-9 lead but Marietta took seven straight points to shock Warrior Nation.

Marietta’s Lain Weppler and Holly Hutchison both had crucial kills to cut it to 14-12 before an ace by Chrystal McCoy made it a one-point game.

A couple of close calls on balls hit by Warren went Marietta’s way to put the Tigers up 15-14 before Weppler finished it off with a kill to send Tigers fans home happy.

“We should’ve closed it off in the fourth set and not let it get to that point,” said Warren coach Michelle Tyo.

“I told the girls they’ve got nothing to be disappointed about. I was proud of their effort and that was a great way to set the tone for this season.”

Weppler led Marietta with 16 kills in the game and added four digs.

“It sunk in towards the end that this was my final match against Warren at home in volleyball and I didn’t want to lose,” Weppler said. “We were able to dig down deep and pull through.”

Hutchison contributed seven kills and three digs in the contest and came up with some big plays in the final two sets to help trigger the comeback.

“There was a lot of different plays that helped give us some momentum,” Hutchison said. “We just took that and kept fighting and pulled it off.”

McCoy added eight kills, Alexis Palazzo chipped in with 10 kills and setter Megan Broughton had 35 assists. Libero Shannon Haessly led the team with 12 digs.

Danielle Lambert and Adrienne Lang led Warren with nine and eight blocks, respectively. Natalie Knowlton recorded 23 assists and 17 digs. Victoria Buzzard added 16 digs and a team-high 12 kills while Katelyn Coffman contributed seven kills and five blocks.