MARBLEHEAD — Strong starts in the third and fourth sets lifted the Marblehead volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Northeastern Conference foe Peabody Tuesday night at Marblehead High School. The Magicians won by set scores of 25-18, 25-27, 25-19 and 25-21.
Marblehead built early six-point leads in each of the last two sets and held off a pair of late Peabody comebacks in each to improve to 4-2 on the season.
“Those starts helped us out,” Marblehead coach Killeen Miller said. “We kind of struggled just to gain momentum (Tuesday) overall as a team. We struggled to be consistent and play our game. It seemed like when our passing was on our offense was off or vice versa. It just took us a while to get into a groove.”
Anna Arbo had a season-high 14 kills while Arianna Michaud and Anna Schluter added in another six each for the Magicians. Emma Smith had 25 assists. Defensively, libero Abby Schwartz had 13 digs and four aces.
“Abby and Anna Arbo are definitely our anchors back there,” Miller said. “They’re both all over the place and work really well together. They understand the value of teamwork and what it takes to win. They both put it all out there every game.”
Despite the loss, Tanners coach Lisa Keene was proud of the way her team battled- especially with an inexperienced roster this season.
“I wouldn’t say we’re rebuilding,” Keene said, “but we have a lot of first-year varsity players. Those kids haven’t worked together long so they’re learning off of each other. We’re moving positions around constantly, so with that type of play (Tuesday) I’m impressed.”
Amanda Marmiani had 13 digs while Olivia Kiricoples had nine service points and two blocks for the Tanners. Aalliyah Alleyne had four kills and five blocks. Sarah Broughton added six kills and Isabel Bettencourt had 12 service points, 11 assists and three aces.
The first set started off with a back-and-forth battle before Marblehead eventually jumped out to a 15-10 lead behind aces from Schwartz and Arbo. The Tanners battled back to get within one but Marblehead finished the set strong with Schwartz serving to take the set.
But Peabody responded in the second set. The Tanners edged out Marblehead in a close set, taking the final two points with Bettencourt serving to tie things up at 1-1.
It didn’t take long for Marblehead to recover. The Magicians started the third set on a 7-1 run and despite a few near comebacks from the Tanners, held on to go ahead 2-1.
The fourth and final set was the same with the Magicians getting off to another 7-1 start. Peabody struggled to find its footing and fell behind 14-4. The Magicians held off a late Tanners run to cap off the 3-1 match win.
“It was still good to see the improvement (Tuesday),” Keene said. “Normally we get down and just keep falling and can’t seem to dig ourselves out of it. I was really happy we got ourselves back into it. If you’re going to work on things that’s definitely something I’m very impressed with. We only had seven service errors in four sets which is very impressive. The girls have improved with every game.“
The Tanners (1-4) will hope to bounce back with another NEC matchups at Saugus Thursday (5:30). Marblehead travels to Milton for a tough non-conference tilt Friday (5:30).