Updated Wed, Nov 6, 2013 11:08 pm
The Marietta College Pioneers’ postseason ended abruptly with a tough challenge, as they fell to the top seeded Mount Union Purple Raiders (28-4, 8-1 in OAC) in the first round of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament, 25-16, 25-13 and 25-16.
The Pioneers (12-18, 2-7 in OAC) fell behind early, facing a 6-1 deficit with their only point coming off a kill by sophomore right side hitter Keri Horton. Marietta desperately tried to catch up, resulting in a 6-3 run to make the score, 9-7, but that’s as close as it got all set.
The Pios were attacked on all fronts by the Purple Raiders’ offense, falling behind 22-13. Marietta once again tried to play catch up, going on a 3-0 run, but Mount Union could sense a breakdown coming and took the final three points of the set.
The second set looked to be more competitive for the Pios, as they kept pace with the Purple Raiders early. But after falling behind 11-7, Marietta didn’t score another point for seven volleys, as Mount Union ran up the score and eventually took the set, only allowing Marietta to score another six points.
Marietta’s 1-0 lead in the final set was its only lead of the match and from there Mount Union went on a 7-0 run. It played out much like the first two sets, as the Pios looked to rebound after falling behind early. Their season ended on an attack error by sophomore middle blocker Chloe Jansen.
Junior middle blocker Rachel Hackenberg led the team with six kills, six assisted blocks and nine points. Junior setter Laura Mauer was a bright point as well with 16 assists, eight digs, two assisted blocks and one point.
It was an emotionally charged night for senior defensive specialist Amber Wiley, as this was the last game she played in a Pioneers’ uniform. Wiley gave everything she had to stop the potent Purple Raiders offense, snagging a team-high 11 digs and two assists.
With the major contributors, Mauer and Hackenberg, approaching their senior year, Marietta will look to improve their strong current freshman and sophomore class next season.