Kaitlyn McClead, Tigers make short work of Bears

Photo by Ron Johnston Marietta High’s Sydney Wright, right, bumps the ball as teammate Maddy Muntz, left, looks on during a high school volleyball match against River View Tuesday at Sutton Gym.

MARIETTA — Kaitlyn McClead enjoyed a good all-round match.

The senior setter had a match-high 30 assists to help Marietta High sweep River View, 25-20, 25-19, and 25-14, Tuesday night in East Central Ohio League volleyball action at Sutton Gymnasium.

“I know I’m short and I can’t do everything like the big hitters can, but if I can hold the net for the girls, and I can confuse them (River View Bears), we’re good,” said McClead, who also had nine digs, four kills, one ace, and one block.

The MHS hitters combined for 35 kills and nine blocks in the match. Sophomore Sophie Evans led the way with nine kills and four blocks while senior Hannah Kroft had eight kills and four blocks. Senior Betsy Wriston chipped in with seven kills, and junior Sydney Wright had five.

“We have a strong, strong group of girls who know how to play the game,” McClead said.

Defensively, Marietta sophomore libero Maddy Muntz was credited with a match-high 16 digs. Alexus Carpenter, Maddi Scharff, and Wright finished with four apiece.

The Tiger netters improved their record to 7-4 overall, while River View fell to 6-7. Last year, the two schools split on the VB court.

The Bears were led by hitter Ki Stamper’s eight kills; setter Kayla Dulgar’s 18 assists; and libero Skylar Quincel’s 12 digs.

Marietta trailed at the start of all three sets. But once the Tigers got settled, there was no stopping them.

“We weren’t focused and not really ready — and just kind of out of it,” McClead said. “So, we had to pick it up as a team. Once we get going, we’re pretty good.”

Ron Kidder said that the Tiger have to work on getting off to a better start in games.

“We’ve learned that it takes five sets, and we’re not going to get down or give up,” said the veteran volleyball coach, who late last month recorded his 400th career volleyball win. “Right now, we’re the type of team that doesn’t get nervous and flustered when we get down a few points. We just come back. We’re getting better and better. We want to peak at tournament time.”

While River View had an early advantage, it faded fast at the end with Marietta closing out a 5-point win on an Evans’ kill

The Bears jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second game, but again the Tigers fought back and capped a 6-point victory with a Brooke Copenhaver kill.

In the final set, MHS only trailed 2-0 before it went to work. And, with senior Alexus Carpenter serving, the Tigers took a double-digit lead (16-6) for the first time in the match. Then, the Tigers coasted home with the win.

“We served and passed well tonight,” Kidder said. “River View is always scrappy and well-coached.”

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com