MARSHALL — At first glance, one wouldn’t have guessed the Marshall-Cambridge volleyball match was a three-set contest.
“This was a fun match to watch,” said Cambridge coach Brett Anderson. “If you didn’t tell me the score, I would tell you it was tied.”
Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the Cardinals earned a 25-17, 25-21, 25-23 victory in Capitol South Conference girls volleyball action on Tuesday night in Marshall.
Marshall scored the first four points of the match; the Cardinals controlled much the match against Cambridge, especially early.
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 out 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 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.
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.
“We started to get a little hesitant – trying to not make errors – and that took a little bit of the pressure off of Marshall and let them come back,” said Anderson. “We need to be willing to put our foot down and finish the set. If we had done that, I’m dying to know who would have won the fourth. We don’t get that opportunity tonight, but I know we’ll see them again.”
Gracie Korth and Summer Hausz led the Blue Jays with six kills each, followed by Aynsley Kauffman with five. Ashlynn Jarlsberg was tops on the team in aces with eight, while Amelia Geiss had two.
The Blue Jays will stay on the road for their next game on Thursday at Belleville. Start time is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.