OMAHA – You can call Omaha Marian’s 2-4 record last week a losing streak, slump, bump in the road, meltdown or back luck. On Tuesday night, however, the Crusaders showed that whatever it was, it’s over.
Class A #4 Omaha Marian downed #5 Millard West 25-21, 25-12, 29-27 to improve to 26-5 on the season while the three-time defending state champions proved that the rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated.
Marian coach Amy McLeay said getting swept by both Papillion-LaVista and Lincoln Pius X last Tuesday was difficult but that she started to see good things again from her team in a tight 2-1 loss to Millard North on Friday and 3-2 loss to the Monarchs on Saturday.
“Last Tuesday night was a nightmare,” she said. “Friday night was a great battle and Saturday was a great match. I thought our girls played really well – it was just a matter of two or three points. We just can’t have the kids taking a play off. I actually felt pretty confident after the loss on Saturday.”
Marian used a late surge to pull away in set one from Millard West and then the Crusaders controlled set two before the Wildcats, 18-9, got things going in the third set.
With the set tied at 22-22, Bressman got a kill for Marian but Millard West’s Jordan McCormick answered to tie it at 23-23. Another Bressman kill got Marian to match point at 24-23, but a double contact call on the Crusaders again tied it at 24-24.
Millard West fought off its second match point when an Ashley Bush kill tied it at 25-25 and Hailey Petersen’s kill for the Wildcats stopped Marian’s third match point and tied the score at 26-26. A hitting error denied Marian’s fourth match point, but Maddie Wiedenfeld followed a Bressman kill with an ace block to close out the third set 29-27 and the match 3-0 in favor of the Crusaders.
“Millard West is a very, very good team. (Millard West) really came after our right sides at the beginning and we made some adjustments and then Emily Bressman really came on for us,” McLeay said. “I thought our middles did a really good job of finding their hitters, so our blocking was a strong point as well.”