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Monarchs Tops Blue Eagles On Senior Night

By Staff | Nov 2, 2016

Photo by Bruce Crawford Pictured above is the 2016 Magnolia Blue Eagles senior players and their parents.

The John Marshall Monarchs put together an in-probable comeback to shock the homestanding Magnolia Blue Eagles on an emotional senior night at Magnolia on Thursday, Oct. 27.

With a packed house taking in the event, the Blue Eagles used the motivation from its fans and quickly won the first two sets but with Magnolia just one point away from a sweep, the Monarchs (15-5) recorded three straight points to extend the match and went on to win the final two sets and surprised everyone in attendance with a 13-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-20 and 15-3 victory.

“We knew we were facing a really good Magnolia team and I asked them to come ready to play,” Monarchs’ coach Chelsea Linsky said. I say it every time but as long as they play as a team, we should play well. It takes all of them and they exceeded my expectations.”

Magnolia (22-9) senior Kristen Massey was surrounded by caring teammates as she her name was called and she took the floor just one day after her grandfather passed away. The emotions continued for the Eagles in the third set when senior Taylor Ludewig went down with a twisted ankle and did not return to the match.

“Emotions were up and down tonight,” Magnolia coach Pamela Chapman said. “It was senior night and we all went to the viewing for Kristen’s grandfather today. We have had three seniors who have lost grandparents in the last year so the emotions were all over the place tonight.

“I think Taylor will be okay. She is tough. We will just give her some time and rest and she will be good to go.”

Playing with a heavy heart, Massey sparked the Blue Eagles to a first set victory with a 9-point serving streak to put her team on top early.

In the second set, John Marshall held a 9-5 edge when Magnolia’s Via Anderson began serving and reeled off five consecutive points to give the hosts the lead and they never looked back, taking a 2-0 set lead.

In the third set, there were 11 lead changes and 14 ties but after the injury to Ludewig, John Marshall was able to win the set and extend the match.

Magnolia secured a narrow 19-17 advantage in the fourth set until Megan Denning stepped behind the service line and scored six-straight points to give the Monarchs the lead and teammate Maddy Mayle garnered the set-winning kill to force a fifth set.

At this point, John Marshall was in total control of the momentum and it showed in the deciding set as they dominated by a count of 15-3, led by a 6-0 run to start the set and then an 8-0 run to make it 14-1 before Emily Harr delivered the match-ending kill for the Monarchs to complete the comeback.

“I didn’t want to come down here to lose and three sets,” Linsky said. “I told them we had to show up in that third set and they did. It is amazing and it feels good.”

John Marshall was led by Mayle who accounted for 11 kills and 12 blocks, while Lauren Garcia dished out 32 assists and Denning supplied 10 digs and four aces.

For Magnolia, Kelsi Chapman tallied 18 digs and 13 kills, while Massey turned in 27 digs, Ludewig earned 11 kills and six digs and Tylar Seckman added eight kills.

“This senior class has been great and a joy to coach,” Chapman said. “They work hard and they have grown up together. They are best friends and they are like my own. I love them all.”

***

Lady Eagles Splits Tri-Match

Magnolia’s Taylor Ludewig scored a team-high 12 points, bumped up 13 digs and delivered four kills to help the Eagles defeat Paden City to gain a split in a tri-match inside Bob Burton Gymnasium Oct. 25.

In the opening match against Williamstown and Paden City, the ‘Yellowjackets raced out to a huge lead and coasted to a 25-9 and 25-11 two-set victory. Malayna Price paced the Wildcats with five points and four digs, while teammates Aubrey Neff tacked on four points, five digs and five assists. Madison Kelly dropped in four points.

In the second match, Magnolia fell behind to Williamstown by four early in the match at 9-5, and tied things up, before taking a 16-12 advantage. The Lady Eagles would go from here with a 19-12 lead with Bailey Estep at the line, while Kelsi Chapman unloaded with a pair of very nasty spikes.

After breaking serve, the Yellow Jackets closed the gap a little, before the Eagles’ Tylar Seckman bombbarded Williamstown with a kill of her own.

Ludewig and Kendra Pilant each landed a kill late in the match to give them a 25-18 victory over the stunned Williamstown squad. However, in the second set, Chapman and Seckman combined for nine kills, and Ludewig tallied five service points, including an ace, but it wasn’t quite enough to get past Williamstown, 17-25, to even the

best of three, bringing up a winner take all third set.

Williamstown opened the set with a service ace, and held a 2-0 lead until Seckman pounded a kill to break serve. Ludewig scored two straight service points, before the ‘Jackets stole the serve back. Chapman recorded a dink and a block that had the match knotted at four, but Williamstown tallied three straight points before Chapman contributed a kill and another dink to deadlock the match at seven.

Williamstown started to heat up and scored six straight points before Chapman landed a kill to break serve.

Chapman then served up an ace, and Pilant landed a block to pull them to within three points. A Ludewig kill and a Via Anderson service ace pulled the Eagles to within a deuce, before the ‘Jackets tallied three straight markers to go up, 17-13.

Bailey Estep drilled back an ace for the Eagles, but Williamstown would go up 20-16 after a Chapman kill. However, the Lady ‘Jackets would close out the match to win, 25-17 to win the match.

Chapman paced the Eagles with 14 kills and 12 digs, while Estep added 29 assists and seven points. Ludewig tacked on eight points, nine digs and five kills, while Seckman buried six kills. Kristen Massey added six points and six digs, while Via Anderson pumped up five digs.

Magnolia met up with Paden City in the last match of the night on the ‘Cats Senior Night. The Wildcats used the adrenaline of the Senior Night to take a comfortable lead, but the Eagles would hang in to win the match in straight sets, 25-18 and 25-14.

Estep paced the Blue Eagles with 17 assists, five blocks and five digs, while Ludewig contributed 12 points, 13 digs and four kills. Seckman contributed six points, four blocks and five digs, while Chapman added four points and four kills.

In addition, Anderson posted four points and five digs, while Massey contributed seven points and 14 digs. Freshman Paige Brill served up the winning point for all the stats that were available.

For the Wildcats, Madison Kelly sank a team-high 10 points, while Aubrey Neff added five points, and 12 assists. Katrina Heasley served up five points and Jenna Arnett, four points, while Jenna Ferrebee posted five points and six kills. Kameron McClain added four digs and Malayna Price nine digs.

Magnolia will host the Region I sectional this week starting Tuesday evening at 5:30 at NMS and Magnolia High School and will go on throughout the week in the double elimination format.