Pioneers Grab Two Wins To End Pioneer Classic

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The Marietta College Pioneers volleyball team reclaimed its winning record after taking a straight-sets win over the Roanoke College Maroons and a four-sets win over West Virginia Tech as it closed out the Pioneer Classic on Saturday.

The Maroons (9-7) led early in the first set of the first match, but Marietta (9-8) began to settle in and soon all was knotted up at 6-6. Marietta then went on a 6-1 run to take the lead 12-7 and wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the rest of the set, taking it 25-19.

The second set played out much the same way as the first, with the score tied at 4-4. The Pioneers took the reigns from there, going on a 6-1 run and looking to quickly take the whole set. But Roanoke went on a 6-1 run of its own to tie the game at 11-11. The teams exchanged leads for the next few points as each struggled to gain a foothold against the other. Marietta finally pulled away on a 4-0 run to close the set 25-21 on a service ace by sophomore middle blocker Chloe Jansen.

After the break the Maroons looked to rebound with a quick 2-0 lead. But the Pioneers came back and grabbed the lead at 6-5 and wouldn’t give it up again. Marietta ended the set on a 16-7 run and finished the match 25-13.

Junior middle blocker Rachel Hackenberg was the main contributor for the Pioneers’ offense with a team-high 12 kills, four assisted blocks, and a .500 hit percentage, while sophomore defensive specialist Mary Ervin contributed 21 digs and freshman setter Jules Moskaluk gave out 30 assists.

Marietta took the court about an hour later to face the West Virginia Tech Golden Bears (3-13).

The first set was heated, but Marietta began to pull away near the middle with a 17-13 lead. The Pioneers then started applying pressure on West Virginia Tech, as they went on a 5-1 run to make it 22-14. The Golden Bears only scored four more points as Marietta took the first set 25-18.

The Golden Bears came out fighting in the next set, amassing a 4-0 lead. As the set continued, the Pioneers struggled on both sides of the ball and quickly found themselves down 17-12. But they rebounded with a 6-0 run to take their first lead of the set at 18-17. The next few points were a grudge match between the two teams to find an opening and Marietta found itself at game point with a 24-23 lead. The Golden Bears called timeout and immediately following the timeout went out and grabbed three straight points for a 26-24 win, tying the teams at a set apiece.

Marietta took the following two sets in commanding fashion, winning 25-8 and 25-10.

Sophomore middle blocker Shaunie Oliver-Smith led the team in kills with 14, and posted a .286 hit percentage. Moskaluk stood out once again, posting 37 assists and a 1.000 hit percentage.

Marietta looks to continue its winning ways against the University of Mount Union on Friday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m.