Ace Nation: Marauders survive and advance

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WAVERLY, Ohio (WOUB) — The Meigs Marauders and Federal Hocking Lancers traveled to Waverly with one thing in mind: a district championship appearance. Both teams were coming off major upsets and had high hopes of moving forward in tournament play.  

Meigs upset Minford on Thursday and headed into the night with a 13-11 record. They were looking to extend their three-game winning streak while also being victorious in five out of their last seven contests. The Federal Hocking Lancers took down Portsmouth West, in five sets last Thursday. The Lancers came into the matchup with an 11-12 record on the season. 

Starting out, this game was a chess match between both sides. But one matchup in particular stood out – the frontline of the Marauders versus the back row of Federal Hocking. The Meigs’ front row seemed to be the ones pushing their team ahead all night.  Led by Maddie Musser and Keegan Wolfe, the Meigs’ attack was able to get them an early lead in the first.   

High school girls volleyball: Meigs Marauders and Federal Hocking Lancers front hitters both go up for a block with the ball falling on Federal Hocking's side
Lancer and Marauder front hitters both go up for a block in front of each other

With a 24-22 lead and the set on the line, Federal Hocking seemed to be on the ropes. However, the Lancers were cool under pressure. They roared back into the set with a 4-0 run and were crowned the victors of the set 26-24. Federal Hocking’s libero Brenlee Cottrill led the defense, which shined all throughout the first set. The Lancers had all the momentum going into the second.   

But they couldn’t capitalize on the boost. Meigs stole the thunder and jumped out for an early 18-8 lead thanks to big plays by Musser and Wolfe. However, the Lancers caught a groove and went on an 11-3 run and came within two points of the set lead.   

Federal Hocking’s effort fell just shy as Meigs closed out the set 25-19, closing out the set on a 4-0 run. The Marauders mauled their way to get their first set victory on the board. This is where their dominance began.   

Meigs quickly took the third set 25-15.  Musser helped fuel the fire for Meigs and gave them a two to one set lead.   

The fourth set gave Meigs a lot to handle.  Federal Hocking’s defense forced the Marauders into long, hard-fought rallies deep into the game, mainly due to the defense of Cottrill.   

Meigs held a five-point lead going into the first break, and they were able to maintain the lead from there.  They claimed victory after winning the fourth set 25-17. Their front-line domination proved to be too much, even for the full coverage of the Lancer back row.  

Meigs Head Coach Jordan Parker is in her first year on the job, after being an assistant in 2021.  After dropping the first set and her team needing a boost, she told her squad that they had nothing to lose.  

“This is our first time being back at districts since 2014,” said Parker.  “It lit a fire under their butts, and we went to town.” 

Parker and Meigs still have plenty of fight left in them. However, their next opponent may be the best team they have faced all season, the South Webster Jeeps.   

“They are a good club,” Parker said.  “The only thing I can say is we are going to focus on ourselves and watch a little film on them.” 

The matchup between the Marauders and Jeeps will be played on Saturday at Waverly High School at 11 a.m.