It’s always good to break into the win column.
The Marshall volleyball team did just that tonight, defeating the Cambridge Blue Jays in straight sets to earn both their first victory of the season.
Marshall scored the first four points of the match, foreshadowing what was to come. The Cardinals controlled the match against Cambridge, sweeping the Blue Jays in three sets.
After gaining a five-point advantage, Marshall never trailed in the first set, although Cambridge did make a comeback to tie the set at 14. From there, Marshall closed on an 11-3 run – including the final seven points – to seal a 25-17 first-set victory.
Set number two played about nearly the same way as the first set did; Marshall built a 10-3 lead early to seize control. Though the Blue Jays refused to go away, they never came closer than three points, the latest point at 22-19. Marshall then took three of the following five points to take the second set 25-21.
Cambridge found a sense of urgency in the third set, though. After the Cardinals took a quick 2-0 lead, the Blue Jays took five of the next six points to build their first substantial lead of the night.
Marshall clawed their way back, and eventually tied the score at 10 midway through. From there, though, Cambridge took six of the next seven points to go up 16-11. With the Blue Jays up five points, the teams went back to trading points; Marshall still trailed by five with the score 21-16.
“It felt like more than five or six points,” said Marshall’s Head Coach Christina Schmitz. “The girls really got into their own head, but they pulled their way out and played to win rather than not to lose. That’s how they pulled it out.”
With Skyla Michalak serving, Marshall started their comeback. The Cardinals scored the next three points, cutting Cambridge’s lead to 21-19.
An Anna Lutz kill finally tied the score at 23, and Marshall was poised to put the match on ice. After one more point, the Cardinals did just that, forcing Cambridge into a match-ending mistake: Marshall took the third and final set 25-23.
“I ran with a little different lineup for the last two sets,” added Schmitz. “They still played and got better. That last game, they didn’t lose; they fought back… Really good team win.”
Kiana Hellenbrand led the Cardinals in both kills with 10 and blocks with three. Lutz added nine kills, as well. Michalak recorded 22 assists on the match to go along with her team-high three aces. Aubrie Kappes was tops on the team in digs with 11, followed by Hellenbrand with nine.
Marshall (1-1) now hits the road for their first road contest of the season. The Cardinals play at New Glarus on Thursday; start time is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.