APPLE VALLEY - The Class AA No. 1-ranked Marshall Tigers settled for fourth place during the Eagles Invitational on Saturday.
Marshall, which put itself in the gold division by going 2-0 on
Friday, dropped both of its matches to Class AAA-ranked teams Saturday. The Tigers were defeated in three sets by No. 5-rated Blaine, 20-25, 27-25, 12-25, in semifinal round and lost to No. 1-rated Chaska in straight sets ,14-25, 19-25, during the match for third place.
"We just got off to a slow start in our morning loss to Blaine," MHS head coach Dan Wesby said. "Blaine has a lot of size and we really had a difficult time handling that size differential at the net. Part of our struggles resulted in the fact that we just didn't put pressure on them like we needed to."
The Bengals jumped out to an early 7-2 in the first set. The Tigers battled back, but were never able to overcome their five-point deficit.
In the second set, the teams battled back-and-forth Blaine took a 24-23 lead. Marshall staved off match-point twice before earning a 27-25 win.
In the third set, the Tigers took an early 8-2 lead, but were outscored by the Bengals 13-4 during the next 17 points.
"After building that 8-2 lead in the third set of the Blaine match, we just had a difficult time siding out. That certainly was frustrating," Wesby said.
In the third-place match, Chaska built leads of 6-1 and 10-2 en route to a 25-14 win in set one. In the second set, the Hawks gained an early 8-4 lead and never looked back, ending the match with a six-point win.
"Chaska is a team with no glaring weaknesses. They're the type of team that doesn't beat themselves," Westby said. "We really had a difficult time mounting any type of run against them."
Westby said the Tigers had a different level of energy on Day 2 of the tournament.
"We certainly didn't play with the type of energy and focus on Saturday that we showed on Friday, " Westby said. "Had we done that, we could have put ourselves in the finals. One thing about playing the types of teams we did in this tournament is the fact that we had some things exposed. Maybe they are some things that have gotten away from us. We need to get back in the gym and work to get better at some things. We've got three days of practice to work on those shortcomings before we host Windom Area on Thursday."
Marshall20 27 12
Blaine25 25 15
INDIVIDUAL MHS STATISTICS
Serving (good-attempts-aces): Callie Graff 10-11-2, Hannah Bennett 8-8-1, Lexi Saugstad 6-7-1.
Hitting (kills): Kenzie Beekman 13, Saugstad 4, Graff 4, Marah Mulso 4.
Setting (assists): Rachel Sanow 21.
Digs: Bennett 16, Beekman 11, Sanow 7, Steph Baker 5.
Blocks (aces): Mulso 4, Sanow 2, Graff 1, Emma Doyle 1.
INDIVIDUAL MHS STATISTICS
Serving (good-attempts-aces): Callie Graff 6-6, Hannah Bennett 7-7-1.
Hitting (kills): Kenzie Beekman 7, Marah Mulso 7.
Setting (assists): Rachel Sanow 16.
Digs: Bennett 12, Beekman 10, Sanow 8, Lexi Saugstad 6.
Blocks (aces): Mulso 1.