Marauders down Vikings in 4

ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — When the Lady Marauders started trending downward, and appearing on their way to a surprising fifth game with visiting Vinton County on Tuesday night, Kassidy Betzing brought them back.

That’s because Betzing, a junior hitter, boasted seven of her match-high 13 kills in the fourth set — and helped Meigs lock up a hard-fought 25-12, 25-19, 22-25 and 26-24 Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division volleyball victory inside Meigs High School’s Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.

Besides the opening set in which the Lady Marauders rolled 25-12, the Maroon and Gold got down by at least four points in each of the final three games — before furiously rallying to win two of those three.

The back-and-forth fourth set was especially suspenseful, featuring seven lead changes and a whopping dozen ties — including at 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23 and finally 24.

But Betzing’s biggest kill of her 13 gave the Lady Marauders a 25-24 lead, as a Vinton County attack error — a ball hit into the net to be exact — ended the tilt.

After the Lady Vikings gained a 16-12 advantage in game four, Betzing — combined with some self-inflicted VCHS errors — began to lead Meigs back.

Her fourth and fifth kills tied it at 16-16, then her final kill put Meigs in front following a Marissa Noble kill that broke the 24-24 tie.

Defensively, Betzing also collected 21 digs, as the Lady Marauders raised their record to an even 3-3 — and 1-1 in the TVC Ohio.

Meigs coach Lea Ann King commented that Betzing’s battling spearheaded the entire squad on Tuesday.

“Kassidy (Betzing) is a big key to our team,” said the coach. “I think she lost a little of her confidence because she wasn’t hitting as hard and hit a couple out. I just told her to hit. She knows what to do, ‘just hit.’ And she did that and she persevered and came back. Kassidy is a fighter. She gives me 110-percent every time she steps on the floor. As a junior, she is a leader too.”

Indeed, the talented and athletic Betzing is a leader of the young Marauders, which sport just three seniors.

But King praised her club’s ability to fight back in all three games, as they also trailed in game two 14-9.

Meigs then captured nine of the next 13 points, though, to forge an 18-18 tie —and actually notched nine of the set’s final 10 to prevail 25-19.

In all, the Lady Marauders scored 16 of the game’s final 21 points.

Noble, who netted eight kills, finished with five in the second set.

“Battling back is something the girls have really had to learn to do this year. They have to have that confidence that they can win. They sometimes lack that confidence, but I am so proud of them for the way they do fight back when they need to be fighting back,” said King. “We make mistakes, but I don’t ask them to be perfect. I just ask them if they do make a mistake to re-direct it and try and do better. We preserved tonight and didn’t give up. I’m very proud of the girls for not giving up.”

But the Lady Vikings certainly didn’t give up either — and never trailed in the third game despite ties of 1-1, 5-5 and 22-22.

They led by as much as 14-6 in the set, before the Lady Marauders mounted another comeback —and finally tied it on a Vinton County hitting error.

But three Lady Marauder errors ended game three, giving Vinton County — which remains winless at 0-4 and 0-2 in the division —its first set-victory all season.

“The second game, I let everybody play. We still need to rebuild, and the more experience everyone gets, the better our team will be in the future. In the third game, we didn’t talk. We didn’t communicate. They know what to do, they know to talk, but we just struggled communicating in that set,” said King.

Meigs also struggled in waves in the fourth game, and actually got down 23-21 before a Noble kill and Vinton County attack error tied it.

A Marauder error gave the Lady Vikings their last lead, but Meigs scored the final three points for the match win.

In addition to Betzing and Noble, Madison Fields set for 19 assists, served for two aces, and racked up 14 digs.

The Lady Marauders returned home on Wednesday and Thursday, as they hosted non-league Logan on Wednesday and Wellston for another league bout on Thursday.

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Meigs’ McKenzie Ohlinger (10) and Allie Hanstine (9) go up for a block over Vinton County’s Becca Clemons during Tuesday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division volleyball match at Meigs High School’s Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.’ McKenzie Ohlinger (10) and Allie Hanstine (9) go up for a block over Vinton County’s Becca Clemons during Tuesday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division volleyball match at Meigs High School’s Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium. Paul Boggs|OVP Sports

By Paul Boggs

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Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106