MARBLEHEAD — After jumping out to a quick two-set lead, the Marblehead volleyball team ended up having to hang on to beat Classical in five sets, 3-2, at Marblehead High Thursday evening. The Magicians won by set scores of 25-22, 25-19, 16-25, 21-25, 15-7.
“We started things off in a great way, but then we let them get right back in it,” said Marblehead coach Killeen Miller. “Classical always brings a very athletic team, and they did a good job getting us off balance at times. So we have to do a better job handling that, but overall the way we kept fighting is what won us the game.”
Marblehead was led by the solid play of Anna Schluter, who had seven kills and two assists in addition to setting a new school record with 11 solo blocks. Jordan Heafitz also added seven kills, while Izzy Curtin contributed 26 assists.
For Classical, Amber Crayton and Pamela Diaz each had great games from the service line. Diaz led the way with 21 service points, while Crayton added 16 service points.
“I thought we played really well in an opening game against one of the best teams in the Northeastern Conference,” said Classical coach Frank DeLuca. “We just had a bit of trouble on defense at times, and those runs Marblehead went on kept hurting us. But those are things that we can work on and clean up for next time.”
Despite Marblehead taking the first two sets, it was a back-and-forth affair from the first serve. The Magicians jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead and soon stretched that out to a 12-4 lead. It looked like Marblehead was set to roll through the first set, but Classical staged a bit of a rally to close the gap to 13-8 Marblehead. The Magicians responded by putting up seven points in a row to make it 20-8, and once again the set appeared to be theirs. But then Classical went on its own run, a 12-1 run to be exact, to cut the deficit to just one. Marblehead made some good hits and forced Classical into some errors, and the Magicians were able to take the first set 25-22.
The second set started off the same way, with Marblehead taking an early 3-0 lead. Classical responded by scoring four straight points to take its first lead of the match. The two teams battled to a 12-12 tie before Marblehead pulled away slightly to make it 19-14. Classical then responded with a five-point run to tie it at 19-19, but the Magicians came right back with six straight points of their own to capture the second set, 25-19.
Dropping the second set may have pushed Classical into another gear, because the Rams opened the third set with a 7-0 run to take control. Marblehead started to slowly crawl back into the set, however, and before long Classical only held a slim 16-14 lead. That was as close as the Magicians would get, as Classical rattled off another 7-0 run to take full command of the set. After a solid block by Keysha Chavannes, the Rams took the set 25-16.
The fourth set was another back-and-forth affair. Classical jumped out to an 8-2 lead early before Marblehead rallied to tie the score at 10-10. The two teams continued to battle, tying the score at 11-11 and 17-17 before the Rams got a foothold and took a 24-21 lead. After an error by Marblehead gave Classical the set, the score was tied at 2 sets apiece.
The fifth and final set, which only ran to 15 points, started off even before Marblehead took control. After a 3-3 tie, the Magicians went up 6-3 and then 8-4. After a few more back-and-forth points, a kill by Marblehead’s Anna Arbo finally gave the Magicians the set, 15-7, and the victory.
“We just have to find our groove and figure out what our game is and just go from there,” said Miller. “That’s going to help us be much more consistent, and hopefully we won’t let those runs against us keep happening.”
Marblehead improved to 2-0 on the season while Classical’s 0-1.
Both teams are back in action Wednesday when the Rams take on Malden and the Magicians take on Medford.