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Section 3AA volleyball: Marshall Tigers are scary good

CALEB NELSON/DAILY GLOBE Jackson County Central freshman Abby Benson (14) and junior Kaylee Burmeister (3) defend the net in Section 3AA volleyball action Thursday against Marshall.

WINDOM —Momentum is everything in the sport of volleyball. Once you lose it, it is hard to regain.

Marshall threw Jackson County Central off balance with an offensive prowess few will ever be able to match on Halloween night Thursday in Section 3AA volleyball’s south sub-section final. The Tigers won on set scores of 25-12, 25-16, 22-25, 25-12 to end JCC’s season.

Marshall (28-3) advances to Saturday’s section final at Southwest State University in Marshall against Morris Area/Chokio Alberta (19-5).

“We lost to them in conference and it was a close match. Closer than what tonight was,” JCC coach Teresa VanEpps said, recalling a sweep her team suffered to Marshall earlier this year.

The Tigers played on the attack in the first two sets this time around. JCC simply did not. An efficient attack for the Huskies was not potent enough to contest a Marshall front row that was paced by 29 kills from senior Kenzie Beekman.

“We weren’t getting them out of their system,” VanEpps said. “Marshall is a fabulous team. I feel they are probably the best team in the state.”

JCC settled into its game plan as the aggressor in the third set. The Huskies led by as many as four in the frame. JCC senior Kenna Bannister landed a kill to hand her team a 10-4 edge.

Marshall worked its way back to tie the set on multiple occasions but would never lead. A free ball from junior libero Kathryn Nasby and a block shared by Bannister and freshman Abby Benson were nails in the coffin that gave Marshall a Halloween scare.

“I wanted us to speed up our offense. It took us until the third set to finally do it,” VanEpps said. “When we went quickly, Marshall had a tough time defending that.”

JCC junior Rachel Johnson (8-for-8), sophomore Abby Brinkman (13-for-13) and Nasby (13-for-13) were each spotless servers for their club. Bannister had two aces. Benson turned in six blocks. Bannister and junior Sydney Eddy each had four. Nasby (14) and Burmeister (11) came together for 25 digs. Benson (11 kills) and Burmeister (10) led the team offensively at the net.

The Huskies took their young squad through the Southwest Conference this fall and lost just once along the way. The team will seek to replace two seniors as the offseason begins.

“We have just two seniors. On the court tonight we had a freshman, two sophomores, and the rest were a senior and juniors,” Van Epps said. “That is a positive for us going forward at JCC.”

Caleb Nelson
Caleb Nelson is the Daily Globe sports writer. He hails from southwest Iowa and served as sports editor at the Audubon County Advocate Journal there for 2 ½ years before moving to Worthington in October 2013. Caleb trys to enjoy life and everybody that he meets. He enjoys music, playing guitar and drums, and is an avid sports fan. 
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