MHS Round-up: Lady Owls suffer another hard blow

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Marshall senior Ann Lewis is 14-2 following a straight-set win over Boonville.

CHILLICOTHE -- Becky Harrold has never been one to make excuses, but Marshall's head volleyball coach had plenty to say about the closing moments of Monday's 25-22, 20-25, 28-26 loss at Chillicothe -- the Lady Owls' third straight setback after winning five in a row.

"I have been playing and coaching volleyball for over 14 years," Harrold said. "This is the only game I can honestly say we won, even though the score does not show it, and I can honestly attribute that to the referee."

Harrold was upset because of the final five Lady Hornet points, three were awarded on "lift" calls against Marshall. That, after not having whistled one throughout the match, and none Harrold thought were deserved.

An attack and two digs, a one-armed reach with closed fist and an overhead pass to the setter off a free ball on match point, were gifts to Chillicothe (9-4). Harrold considered the rulings "so blatantly one-sided that it was pathetic to be a part of."

In truth, though, the Lady Owls "should not have put ourselves in position to even have to deal with that," Harrold noted. "We were completely discombobulated in the first game and could never pull it together."

After a strong second set, Marshall's momentum carried into the final frame until serve-receive mistakes allowed the Lady Hornets to rally. Even with that, Harrold believes the Lady Owls "did not get beat by the other team," which she readily admits they did last week during hard-fought losses to Oak Grove and Boonville.

Sophomore Rachel Keller led Marshall with nine kills and 29 digs, junior Abby Perkins had seven spikes and -- along with freshman Sierra Cuda -- five blocks and senior Melissa Cook dropped in three shots and pulled up 32. Freshman Cortni Ervin contributed five kills and three blocks and junior Nikki Cooley and sophomore Megan Austin split 21 of the Lady Owls' 24 assists.

Marshall (6-4) has another tough road game today at Higginsville, but Harrold is hoping that anger over the latest outcome will be a motivator.

"We must use this type of game as fuel for our fire," she declared.

Girls' Tennis

Marshall 9, Boonville 0

The Marshall girls' tennis team handed visiting Boonville its first loss of the season Monday, 9-0, for its 11th shutout victory in 16 outings.

Freshmen Kelsey Franklin (6-1, 6-0) and Amy Durham (6-0, 6-2) and junior Duyen Van (6-0, 6-1) didn't drop more than two games in rolling to straight-set wins. Seniors Nicki Erickson (6-2, 6-3) and Ann Lewis (6-2, 6-3) and sophomore Sydne Parkhurst (6-4, 6-1) had it slightly tougher, but still bested the Lady Pirates (9-1).

Lady Owls head coach Susan Carney repaired the doubles combos which lost to Rock Bridge last week. This time the duos of Erickson-Franklin (6-3, 6-3), Durham-Lewis (6-2, 6-2) and Parkhurst-Van (6-3, 6-3) all came out on top.

Marshall's junior varsity claimed nine of 10 contests, with sophomore Linzi Bledsoe enjoying the widest margins of victory in both singles (10-1) and -- teamed with senior Robyn Jennings -- doubles (10-3).

The Lady Owls (14-2) head to Independence today to take on Fort Osage, a match rescheduled from Aug. 31.

Girls' Golf

Sacred Heart 176, Marshall 219

SEDALIA -- The Marshall girls' golf team closed the gap considerably with the powerful Sacred Heart club during Monday's match at Sedalia Country Club.

After trailing the Gremlins (7-0) by 58 strokes during Thursday's triangular in Marshall, the Lady Owls narrowed the margin by 12 shots, losing 176 to 219. One reason may have been the return to action of senior MacKenzie Finnegan following a layoff of more than two weeks due to illness.

Finnegan had Marshall's third-best score at 58, following junior Samantha Cartee (52) and senior Megan Kays (53) and ahead of junior Jillian Collins (58). Junior Autumn Zinn carded a 68 for the Lady Owls (1-7).

Sacred Heart was led by senior Paige Downum at 40, with all five players -- as they did at Indian Foothills four days earlier -- shooting under 50. Clinton sent three entries to the contest, with sophomore Aimee Kaiser coming in with a 47.

Marshall is scheduled to meet the Lady Cardinals on their home course today.

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