MARYSVILLE The Marysville Vikings volleyball team has come a long way in the past month.
But the Vikings improvements still couldn’t earn them a victory over Macomb Area Conference Red Division leader Romeo.
Despite playing one of their best games of the season, the Vikings still lost 25-23, 16-25, 24-26 and 21-25 at Marysville High School.
Payton Husson paced the Vikings with 14 kills, Hannah Delor had nine kills and Bailey Bowns had six kills and six digs.
Devan Valko added 29 assists, 13 service points and six digs and Mikayla Morgan had 11 digs.
“I definitely think we improved drastically since the first time we played Romeo,” Husson said. “I think we really took it to them. I think we are showing we are growing a lot during the season. When it comes to the playoffs, I think we are going to be a force to be reckoned with.
“People will never know what kind of game we will bring because we continue to get better. I think that’s really scary for the other teams.”
The Vikings struggled to deal with Romeo senior outside hitter Gia Milana, who drew the attention of the whole team but still was dominant throughout the four games.
“The key tonight was our serve receive,” Milana said. “Once we got passes to our setters we were able to run a really easy offense. We opened up our hitters a lot. We didn’t have blockers on any of our hitters. We know teams are going to double block me all day long. It’s such a relief when I know I have talent on the side of me.”
The loss puts Marysville (4-2, 28-3-2) squarely behind Romeo (5-0, 24-4) in the conference standings. But the Vikings are encouraged by their growth.
“In our league, we are the No. 1 competition for Romeo,” Mikayla Morgan said. “Even though we lost, it was still a really great fight until the end. We didn’t want to give up and we just kept going. I’m so proud of everyone on the team and how far we have come so far.”
The Vikings will return to action Oct. 12 at Grosse Pointe North.
“I think we have shown in the last three weeks since we last played Romeo that we have improved,” Marysville coach Ryan Welser said. “The first time we played them, it went four games but didn’t have a legitimate chance to win. We got blown out two games.
“This time we have clearly, clearly closed the gap between the two teams and I thought it was legitimate 50-50 match that could have gone either way. We didn’t stop the other girls around (Milana). We never stopped them and congrats to them, that was our game plan to stop them and let her get hers.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.