Finding itself behind to start every game, something that is a rare occurrence for the Marshfield volleyball team this season, the Tigers didn’t let their slow starts last as they came away with a three-game victory over Wisconsin Rapids on Thursday.
After finding themselves in early deficits in each game, the Tigers dominated when it mattered most — late in games — winning 25-10, 25-12, 25-18.
The Tigers (19-3 overall and 2-0 WVC) were able to withstand fast starts by Rapids in each of the games and then fought back in the middle portions to take double-digit leads.
“Tonight we wanted to do a lot of new things on offense,” said Marshfield coach Dawn Sadowska. “We looked great at it in the first and second games, but we lost our focus a bit at the end of the the third and it showed.”
Rapids (7-7 overall, 0-1 WVC) took a 2-1 lead in the first game and held a 6-4 advantage in the second before the Tigers were able to get into a rhythm.
After those starts, the Tigers outscored Rapids 22-7 the rest of the way in the first game and then dominated 21-6 in the rest of the second game to take a 2-0 game advantage in the match.
“We had great starts then it seemed like we took 10 points off in the middle of each game,” Rapids coach Jake Wedntland said. “They (Marshfield) took advantage of our mistakes, and it doesn’t take many for them to take a big lead.”
Sparking the Tigers’ rallies was strong defensive play in the middle. Marshfield senior Tiffany Stargardt led the Tigers with seven digs, while Darian Molter added six.
Stargardt also paced Marshfield with 12 kills, while Courtney Bauer tallied 17 assists.
“We have a lot of returning players from last year,” Stargardt said. “We struggled at times tonight – especially the third game – and it showed us that we have to play our hardest all the time.”
Despite being down late in the match, Rapids continued to play hard. The Raiders were able to answer every Marshfield outburst, but were just a step behind to close the final game.