Marshall tops Harper Creek, wins volleyball district

Marshall tops Harper Creek, wins volleyball district

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Marshall tops Harper Creek, wins volleyball district

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To say the volleyball district final at Harper Creek on Friday was thrilling would be an understatement.

Host Harper Creek and Marshall combined for 190 points over four games, including two that went to extra points, as the Redhawks rallied to win the clinching set and earn their first Class B district title since 2004.

Marshall won by scores of 25-14, 20-25, 28-26 and 27-25 in the final set, where the Redhawks trailed 24-20 before rallying for the victory.

“This team loves playing together more than any team I’ve ever seen,” said Marshall head coach John Miller. “I’m not an easy coach to play for, my expectations are ridiculously high, and my number one goal this year was to do this — not for me, but for the program and these kids — because they deserve it and they are just phenomenal.”

The Redhawks (23-18-2) advance to the Class B regional at Vicksburg on Tuesday, where they will face the winner of the Otsego district.

Harper Creek sat a point away from extending its season to a fifth and deciding set, but Marshall junior outside hitter Grace Crawford rattled off three consecutive kills to tie the game at 24-24, giving the Redhawks all the momentum they needed to score the last two points and advance to the regional.

Crawford finished the final with a match-high 16 kills to go with eight digs. Also for Marshall, Logan Kiessling had 15 kills and 17 digs; Morgan Benham had 25 assists and 13 digs and Carmen O’Dell had 27 digs.

“We had a hard time handling Grace when she was up to hit, and we needed to score points when she was in the back row, and we couldn’t get the job done there,” said Harper Creek head coach Terra King. “So they played well, and they deserved the win.”

The Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference East Division teams came out fired up for only their second meeting this season. Marshall won that previous match in three games that were all decided by two points.

Harper Creek (21-25-10) was led by Olivia Leson with 15 kills and 15 digs. Kendall Latshaw had 31 digs and 11 kills and Lauren Grimes had 11 digs, three kills and two blocks. A trio of seniors played in their final match for the Beavers in Lexi Latshaw (13 kills, 17 digs, 36 assists, two aces), Kaycee Klaren (11 kills, three blocks) and Breanna Ganton (16 digs, six kills, one ace).

King added that all three of her seniors will be missed.

“Kaycee — Her intensity really changes the dynamic on the court,” King said. “Breanna — played for me three years… She’s a perfectionist… A very consistent, hard-working player… Lexi has been with me since she was a baby her freshman year, so to see her through these last four years has been an honor. She could do anything I wanted her to do at any time… I will miss having them around.”

CLASS C (at) Concord

Concord 3, Homer 0: Concord won the district final 25-14, 25-5 and 25-13. The Trojans (24-19-3) were led by Hannah Willson with eight kills; Kristin Nelson had one ace; Brooke Ebersole had six assists and four digs.

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