Lady Cats ransacked by Marauders in three

November 5, 2009
BY Matt Welch Staff Writer

PLANO - Both the Plano Senior and Flower Mound Marcus volleyball teams have had six weeks to iron things out since their initial meeting on Sept. 18.

The two locked horns in an area playoff meeting Tuesday evening and while the Lady Marauders dealt the Lady Wildcats a 3-0 sweep on their home floor in September, a neutral site contest at Frisco Wakeland High School didn’t alter the outcome in the slightest.

Quick strikes and long runs by the opposition capped the final chapter for Plano’s season, as Marcus handed the Lady Wildcats another 3-0 sweep, 25-12, 25-21, 25-17, and eliminated Plano from the postseason.

“[Marcus] is a very good team,” said Jennifer Cron, Plano Senior head coach. “We just weren’t able to respond back to them. We showed signs of toughness at some points, but we couldn’t sustain it.”

The Lady Wildcats were on the receiving end of a slew of long-winded runs by Marcus. Plano mustered a couple momentum swings of its own, but from the opening serve, saw an early 4-1 lead wither into a 5-11 deficit. The Lady Marauders would add seven more unanswered points to close out the first set, clicking on all cylinders offensively with precise chemistry between the setters and hitters.

The Lady Wildcats’ blocking front was enough to will the team to victory in their bi-district outing against Duncanville Tuesday evening, but such was not the case against the fast, fluid sets of Marcus setter Mallori Sando.

Inching the ball up mere inches above the net, the time between Sando’s set and the ensuing kill occurred in the blink of an eye, notably disrupting Plano’s reaction time defensively.

“[Sando] is a good setter,” Cron said. “Her hitters are good about hitting around the block with her sets, so it was combination of the two. They just play very well together.”

The Lady Wildcats needed one full set to get in gear offensively, with the Lady Marauder serves forcing Plano’s scoring attempts from well behind the court’s attack line early on.

“It wasn’t anything that we didn’t expect from [Marcus],” Cron said. “It’s just that they did what they should and we weren’t able to.”

Plano was out-killed 15-7 in the opening frame, with four Lady Wildcat kills credited the way of senior outside hitter Kenzie Thompson.

Only able to nab one kill in the second set, Thompson was backed by three second-set kills from junior middle blocker Maddy Haas, as the Lady Wildcats managed as large as a four-point lead past the set’s midway point. Haas was pivotal up front, forcing several Marcus kill attempts astray and out of bounds, but errors took their toll late on Plano.

Anything but aided by four service errors in the second set, Plano surrendered a 7-0 Lady Marauder run late, effectively sealing the set for Marcus. To counter the Lady Wildcats’ serving woes, the Lady Marauders managed just one service error on the evening.

The lengthy runs carried over into the third set as well, with Marcus putting Plano in a 10-2 hole early on. The Lady Wildcats momentarily nipped into Marcus’ cushion, but four blocks and error-free serving kept the Lady Marauders in front.

Plano managed a nip and tuck affair offensively, managing 13 kills to Marcus’ 15. Thompson drew five of those kills, while Haas and sophomore middle blocker Sarah Talley added three each.

The loss draws Plano’s season to a close, with the squad finishing at 18-22 overall. The club was without the services of senior middle blocker Caiti Wenger for the postseason; another monkey wrench thrown into a season filled with adjustments, but Cron is satisfied with her team’s resiliency.

“I’m proud of these kids and what they were able to accomplish,” Cron said. “We had a lot of setbacks, but they remained a team and didn’t stop fighting. That’s always hard to do, but they did it well. I’m proud of that.”

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