Bulldogs score playoff upset over Clayton Ridge, but can’t get past Grundy Center

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Brooke Gillitzer tallied a team-high nine kills in MFL MarMac’s Oct. 17 playoff win over Clayton Ridge. (Times-Register file photo)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


The MFL MarMac volleyball team rallied back from two sets down to upset Clayton Ridge 3-2 in the Oct. 17 Class 2 - Region 5 first round playoff game in Guttenberg. 


The Bulldogs lost the first set 25-17 and the second 25-23 before pulling off 25-23, 25-19 and 15-13 wins in the final three frames.


Last week’s match-up was the third time the teams played one another this season, with the Upper Iowa Conference champion Eagles sweeping a late September conference game, then taking a tournament game 2-1 two days later.


Oct. 17 looked to be a repeat for Clayton Ridge, who out-hit MFL MarMac 42 kills to 16 and took over 60 more chances at the net. The Eagles also won the dig advantage, 104-51, and smashed 11 aces on a 91.1 serve percentage, compared to only two aces and a slightly higher 91.4 percent from the Bulldogs.


MFL MarMac took advantage of Clayton Ridge errors, however, and also totaled 10 blocks, led by four solos and two assists by Grace Anderson. Hannah Bogdonovich added one solo block and two assists. The Eagles, meanwhile, had just four blocks.


Other Bulldog defensive leaders were Kadence Pape with 17 digs and Brooke Gillitzer with 12. Bogdonovich and Hailee Corlett both finished the game with six, while Ashley Shaw earned five.


Offensively, Gillitzer tallied a team-high nine kills, followed by Anderson with four and Corlett three. Makayla Morrissey was responsible for 14 of the team’s 16 assists.


Shaw had one of MFL MarMac’s two aces on a perfect 17-17 serving night, and Morrissey earned the other after going 14-15. Corlett completed 20 of her 22 serve attempts.


Unfortunately, the Bulldogs couldn’t keep the momentum going into the Oct. 19 second round game at Grundy Center. The Spartans entered the match-up 19-12 and overpowered MFL MarMac 25-8, 25-10 and 25-7.


The Bulldogs strung together just seven kills, three of which were by Anderson and two from Bogdonovich. Gillitzer and Ella Corlett both netted one. Morrissey tallied six assists.


Defensively, Anderson and Bogdonovich teamed up on one block, while Pape and Hailee Corlett managed three digs apiece. The Bulldogs had just seven digs overall, as they struggled to handle the Grundy Center serve, which racked up 18 aces on 93.2 percent efficiency. 


MFL MarMac was a perfect 100 percent on serves, led by Hailee Corlett at 7-7 and Shaw and Anderson with 5-5 nights, but had over 40 fewer attempts than the Spartans.


The Bulldogs finished the season 9-19 overall, with a 3-5 record in conference play.

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