BELLEVILLE — Things weren’t looking so good for the Marshall volleyball team after two hard-fought sets.
The Cardinals were down 2-0 on the road against Belleville in a conference match. Marshall turned things around from there, though, taking the final three sets to secure their third Capitol South Conference victory of the year, winning 3-2.
“The second two sets, we turned on the firepower,” said Marshall head coach Christina Schmitz. “Aggressive attacking with a never-quit attitude is how we found ourselves gaining momentum and winning the third and fourth set.”
After a 31-29 loss in the second set, the Cardinals re-focused in the third with a renewed emphasis on tough serves and an attacking mentality. With their back to the wall, Marshall finally scored a win in the third set 25-23.
The Cardinals kept the momentum rolling into the fourth set, where they won 25-22 and evened the match up at two sets apiece. With the match tied, Marshall was poised to finish off the Wildcats in a decisive fifth set.
“The girls had a lot of confidence going into the fifth set and kept their foot on the gas pedal while putting all of the pressure on Belleville,” said Schmitz.
In what had been a close match up until that point — with just one point separating the two teams after four sets — the Cardinals dominated set number five. Marshall won 15-7 to take the victory against Belleville.
“We served tough and kept attacking during the fifth set,” added Schmitz. “All the momentum was in our favor.”
Aubrie Kappes led the Cardinals in both aces with six and digs with 14. Kiana Hellenbrand turned in a well-rounded performance, leading the team in kills with 23 and posting the second-highest mark in both aces (five) and digs (12). Anna Lutz and Abby Ward tied for the lead in blocks with three, while Skyla Michalak recorded 45 assists on the night.
Marshall (7-2 overall, 3-1 Capitol South) returned home on the following Tuesday for a battle with conference-leading Waterloo, the results of which were not available for this week’s edition.
The Cardinals’ next contest comes on Saturday, when they’ll travel to Iowa-Grant for an invitational. Start time is scheduled for 9 a.m.