MARSHALL—The Marshall Tigers defeated the St. James Area Saints 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-20) in the second round of the Section 3AA tournament. The Tigers started off the match on an 11-0 run and rarely let up the intensity after that. Even after the Saints rallied back to make it 15-9, the Tigers finished the match out on a 10-3 run to win 25-12. Two straight kills by Lexi Saugstad ended the first set. Coach Dan Westby said his girls had been preparing hard this week “It was really good to see us come out to a strong start. That’s a credit to our kids being ready. They did a nice job getting themselves ready,” he said. In the second set, Marshall found themselves down early when St. James rolled off four straight points to start the set. However, Marshall quickly took back the lead after a 6-1 run to make 6-5. Westby thought his team’s serving game was on point, “I thought we served well, especially in that first set. That’s always been a strength for us and we rely on that heavily. That’s got to be something that’s there for us every night,” he said. His team finished with eight serving aces on the night. Abby Louwagie accounted for two of them during their opening run. The team has had an “all in” mindset this week in practice. “We’ve coming out strong in practice and getting after each other,” said Callie Graff. Graff led the Tigers with 14 kills. Lexi Saugstad led the team with six digs. Abby Louwagie had 19 set assists. Both Graff and Marah Mulso had two blocks. The Tigers will face Jackson County Central in the section 3AA semi-finals in Windom on Thursday night. The teams split the two meetings earlier this season. Marshall won 3-2 on Sept. 18. JCC defeated them in the final round of the Lakeville North tournament 2-0 earlier this month. The game wlll start at 7 p.m. St. James Area 12-17-20 Marshall 25-25-25 Individual Statistics Serving (Good-Att.-Ace): Abby Louwagie 16-16-3, Meg Ellis 11-13-0, Lexi Saugstad 10-10-0, Haley Bennett 8-8-0, Gabby Hess 6-8-0, Mallory Griffin 3-4-1, Emily Buysee 2-3-3, Callie Graff 2-3-1. Kills: Callie Graff 14, Marah Mulso 8, Morgan Saugstad 6, Lexi Saugstad 4, Mallory Griffin 1, Jackie Petrich 1. Digs: Lexi Saugstad 6, Abby Louwagie 6, Haley Bennett 4, Emily Buysse 3, Gabby Hess 2, Morgan Saugstad 2, Mallory Griffin 1, Jackie Petrich 1, Ashtin Hmielewski 1. Set Assists: Abby Louwagie 19, Emily Buysse 10. Blocks: Callie Graff 2, Marah Mulso 2.
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