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Marion drops non-conference match at Wynne

Photo Credit: Londa Hamrick

MARION DROPS NON-CONFERENCE MATCH AT WYNNE

WYNNE --- Marion made several runs here on Monday night but couldn't deliver the finishing blow to the Yellowjackets. Playing its final non-conference tuneup before opening league play Tuesday night at Valley View, Marion split the first two sets at Yellowjacket Arena before Wynne held off the Pats in the final two outings for a four-set victory (25-20, 19-25, 25-22, and 25-23). The Valley View match will be broadcast live on MarionPatriots.com and on the Marion Patriots Activities Network mobile app. Marion and Wynne (6-2-1 overall) split the first 22 points of the opening set in Cross County as the clubs settled in, but the Yellowjackets responded with three straight points to open a 14-11 advantage. Marion hit the comeback trail when seniors Kiah Rucker and Madison Allison turned Maggie Miller passes into kills to make the score 14-13. Rucker registered back-to-back kills later in the first set to trim the Wynne lead to 18-16, but the 'Jackets scored the next four points for a 20-16 advantage to force a Marion timeout. A Meredith Williams kill dragged the Pats within 24-20, but the 'Jackets closed out on the next point. Marion circled the wagons in the second set when Rucker scored on a block and freshman Kennedy Bullins delivered a service ace for an early 2-0 advantage. Miller's deft passing found freshman Aynslee Coad for consecutive points as the Pats claimed a 4-3 lead, and when freshman Taylor Chamness delivered an ace, Marion's lead was 9-5. The run continued when sophomore Alexa Shinabery deposited a Miller pass for a kill before Williams and Bullins logged kills to push ahead 12-6 and force a Wynne timeout. Wynne pushed back and tied the score at 15 before Williams delivered a pair of kills, while Chamness logged one and served an ace as the Pats claimed a 20-16 lead. Williams and Coad logged kills down the stretch to clinch Marion's 25-19 victory. Rucker and Williams kept Marion afloat early in the third set, as Rucker logged three kills and Williams recorded a kill and a block, but Wynne led 8-4 when Marion called for time. Marion chipped away late in the set as Shinabery, Coad, Kaitlyn Austin, and Rucker logged kills, but Wynne never lost a two-point lead and won 25-22. Marion took a 2-1 lead in the fourth set when Rucker recorded a kill and Bullins served an ace, and when Austin delivered an assist to Coad, the Pats had tied the set at six apiece. Shinabery delivered an ace to tie the set at 10, but Wynne responded by scoring six of the next eight points to force a Marion timeout. Marion got within 19-17 when Miller surprised Wynne by pushing a ball over on two, but the 'Jackets rallied with three straight points. The Pats tied the set at 23 when Miller found Bullins for a kill, but the hosts logged kills for the last two points. Rucker paced the Pats with 14 kills, while Miller was tops with 20 assists. Austin recorded a team-high 27 digs and Chamness served three aces. Bullins recorded eight kills, and served a pair of aces with one block. Williams finished with five kills and two blocks, while Allison registered three kills. Shinabery stacked six kills, while Coad finished with four kills.

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