Updated Sun, Sep 15, 2013 8:33 am
The Marietta College Pioneers volleyball team ended the Depauw Invitational strong, posting a 3-1 record over the weekend with back-to-back wins on Saturday against Concordia University of Chicago and Trine University.
The Pioneers (7-6) started strong, with a hungry offense and a tenacious defense that kept Concordia’s Cougars (0-6) with their backs against the wall and often finding themselves trying to rebound after scoring droughts.
It was a pretty one-sided affair until the third set, where it seemed that the Cougars would fight their way back into the game, but the Pioneers ultimately took the set and the match in straight sets 25-17, 25-14, 25-21.
Marietta was efficient on both sides of the ball with strong showings from sophomore outside hitter Kennedy Clyde, junior setter Laura Mauer, junior middle blocker Rachel Hackenberg and sophomore middle blocker Shaunie Oliver-Smith. Clyde posted a .500 kill percentage while grabbing a team-high seven kills while Oliver-Smith added 6 kills and a .417 kill percentage. Mauer and Hackenberg proved to be vital pieces during the match combining for 30 of the Pioneers’ 33 assists.
Minutes after their first match was over, Marietta took the court to face the Trine University Thunder (4-6).
The Pioneers were once again dominant in their first two sets showing their offensive adaptability and strong defensive prowess. In the third set the Thunder were simply the better team, turning it on and winning their first set of the match, but that was the only set they would win as Marietta rebounded and took the fourth and final set. The match ended with a line of 25-17, 25-17, 21-25, 25-16.
Marietta was strong as a team, averaging a .205 kill percentage and a combined 40 kills while committing only 15 errors.
Individually, Hackenberg and sophomore right side hitter Keri Horton were heavy contributors to the offense with Horton smashing a team-high 10 kills while Hackenberg added 9 kills with a .353 kill percentage. Mauer once again proved her value contributing 31 assists and a .500 kill percentage.
Marietta is back in action as the host of the Pioneer Classic Saturday, Sept. 21, when they face Washington and Lee University at 10 a.m. and Denison University at 12:15 p.m.