The Lady Owls took care of business without having to play doubles, shutting out the Lady Pirates (6-13) for the second time this season. Sophomore Molly Evans, the NCMC Tournament No. 1 singles champion, got Marshall rolling with a 6-1, 6-2 decision.
Completing the singles sweep were senior Stephanie Markes (6-1, 6-1), freshman Taylor Crawford (6-3, 6-3) and juniors Payton Beeler (6-0, 6-2), Amanda Harrelson (6-0, 6-0) and Idalia Aguilar (6-0, 6-1).
The other semifinal saw a slight upset as third-seeded Moberly claimed a 5-4 victory at No. 2 Kirksville -- which finished second to the Lady Owls in Saturday's NCMC meet by a mere point. That score was no surprise to veteran Marshall head coach Susan Carney.
"This is the strongest Moberly team I've ever seen," she noted, pointing to three conference singles champions. "We'll have our work cut out for us."
The Lady Owls (14-2) will host Moberly today, after winning a 9-3 match earlier in the season, for the right to advance to the Oct. 13 sectional.
MEXICO -- Sophomore Isai Trujillo got a "golden goal" for the Marshall boys' soccer team Tuesday during a 2-1 overtime victory at NCMC rival Mexico.
The win kept the Owls tied for first place in the league race with Hannibal, which also went to overtime Tuesday before shaking off Kirksville, 3-2.
After a scoreless first half, the Bulldogs (6-8, 2-4) broke out on top when all-NCMC senior Christian McKeown got a one-and-one crack on Marshall senior goalkeeper Isaac Phillips during the 10th minute of the second half.
Trujillo tied it up seven minutes later off a pass from junior Luis Reyes. While Phillips stopped two other shots, the Owls weren't able to break the tie until junior Bryan Sandoval fed Trujillo for his team-high 12th goal of the season seven minutes into the extra frame.
It was a tight defensive contest, with Marshall holding a slim 6-4 edge in shots on goal.
The Owls (8-5, 6-1) return home Thursday to face Fulton, one of the conference's three remaining one-loss clubs.
FULTON -- Fulton rallied late to pull out the second set Tuesday for a 25-14, 28-26 NCMC home win over the Marshall volleyball team.
The Lady Hornets rolled out to a 16-7 lead and weren't challenged in the first set, but faced game point on the serve of junior Analee Tucker in the second. The Lady Owls didn't score and Fulton got four straight points while junior Tori Brandt served for match point at 25-24.
Marshall twice fought off elimination, but the Lady Hornets (11-5-1, 5-2 NCMC) finally scored twice in a row for the victory.
Junior Karson Heying and freshman Abbie Lemmons each had five kills for the Lady Owls, who got 11 digs from junior Kendra Castle and 10 from sophomore Olivia Haug.
Marshall (8-12-2, 2-5) will be at home Thursday for a non-conference match against head coach Paula Brown's alma mater, Santa Fe.