Volleyball: Marietta Loses First Two Matches Of Pioneer Classic

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After posting a 3-1 record at the Depauw Invitational last weekend, the Marietta College volleyball team opened the Pioneer Classic Sept. 21 with a doubleheader at Ban Johnston Arena. The Pioneers dropped both matches to Washington and Lee University 25-21, 14-25, 8-25, 25-22, 14-16 and Denison University 22-25, 17-25, 16-25, respectively.

In its first match, Marietta jumped ahead of the Generals 5-0 in the first set. Yet Washington and Lee bounced back to grab the 2-1 advantage, outscoring the Pioneers 50-22 in the next two sets. After stealing the fourth set, the Pioneers fell behind 10-14 in the final set, but rallied off four consecutive points to knot it up at 14.

However, a kill followed by a Marietta attack error allowed the Generals (11-3) to prevail.

Marietta committed 22 errors in the loss and posted a mere .106 kill percentage for the match. Senior hitter Paige DeVriendt led the way for the Pioneers with match-high 13 kills while sophomore defensive specialist Mary Ervin posted a team-high 20 digs.

The Pioneers’ hard-fought loss in their first match did not transition well into the second.

Marietta (7-8) dropped all three sets to the Denison Big Red (9-4) and continued to struggle offensively, posting a .176 kill percentage. Despite leading four times in the first set, Marietta’s only lead the rest of the match came at 1-0 in the second set.

The Pioneers were forced to play from behind and the attack of Brittany Perry and Elena Lein allowed the Big Red to maintain a manageable lead. Perry and Lein each finished with 12 kills.

For Marietta, junior middle blocker Rachel Hackenberg had team-high eight kills while freshman setter Jules Moskaluk had match-high 28 assists.

The Pioneers struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball and their opposition was able to capitalize. With the loss, Marietta falls to below .500 after reaching a winning record for the second time this year.

Marietta College looks to get back on track Sunday, Sept. 22, in its final two matches of the Pioneer Classic against Roanoke College at 11 a.m. and West Virginia Tech at 1:15 p.m.