In a match between the two remaining unbeaten volleyball teams in Southwest Conference play, the Marshall Tigers showed they were a cut above Pipestone Area Thursday night in Pipestone.
The Tigers, ranked first in Class AA, quickly put away the Arrows in a 25-9, 25-11, 25-18 victory to improve to 4-0 in SWC play and 15-4 overall. Pipestone drops to 3-1 in SWC action.
Marshall had a bit of a slow start in a win over New Ulm on Monday, but Tigers head coach Dan Westby said there were no such struggles during Thursday's match.
"Our kids really came out and served aggressively to start the match, and as a result, Pipestone had difficulty getting into any kind of rhythm."
Maci Louwagie was one of the Tigers who flustered the Arrows with her serve. She went 13-for-13 serving with five aces.
Kenzie Beekman led the way for the Tigers' offensive attack with 17 kills. And Hannah Bennett was a stalwart in the back row for Marshall's defense, compiling 23 digs.
"We passed the ball well, and I thought we really dug the ball well defensively," Westby said. "Hannah did a nice job of keeping balls alive, and our setters did a nice job of putting up balls the hitters could do something with.
Sydney Griffin and Rachel Sanow had near identical assist numbers in the team's 6-2 offense. Griffin tallied 16 set assists to go with 10 digs and eight kills, while Sanow tallied 15 set assists.
Westby said the Tigers didn't block well early in the match, but the team adjusted as the match progressed and improved in that area. Callie Graff led the Tigers with two ace blocks on the night.
Marshall now advances to play in its third tournament of the season, as the Tigers will take part in the Lakeville North tournament today and Saturday. Marshall will play two matches each day. The Tigers open action at 6:!5 p.m. today against Tri-City United.
Marshall25 25 25
Pipestone9 11 18
MARSHALL INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Serving (good-att-aces): Maci Louwagie 13-13-5, Rachel Sanow 10-10-0, Kenzie Beekman 7-7-1.
Kills: Beekman 17, Sydney Griffin 8, Angela Tauer 5.
Digs: Hannah Bennett 23, Griffin 10, Beekman 8.
Set Assists: Griffin 16, Sanow 15.
Blocks: Callie Graff 2, Griffin 1, Lowuagie 1Doyle 1. Tauer 1.