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Prep Volleyball: Marquette Gets Past Belle Plaine

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MARION, Iowa On a night devoted to ghosts and goblins, there wasn't much scary in the Marion gym Wednesday night, just great Class 1A regional final volleyball action.

Bellevue Marquette prevailed over Belle Plaine, 19-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-22, to advance to next week's state tournament at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, opening Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against Holy Trinity.

Belle Plaine was unable to sustain momentum and fell behind early, especially in games two and three.

"We played well in the first game, but our defense let up a bit in the second and third," Belle Plaine Coach Katie Stull said. "It's hard to get the offense going if the defense isn't working like it should."

The fourth game was tied at 19 before the Mohawks moved on for the hard-fought win.

"I thought that in the fourth game, we finally started to relax and play like we did in the first game," Stull said.

She thought a loud, playoff hungry crowd may have hurt her squad.

"I thought the atmosphere kind of got to our girls tonight," Stull said. "It was very loud in the gym, which is something our team really isn't used to."

This was a banner year for the senior-laden Lady Plainsmen volleyball team, which finished the year with a 22-9 record.

"This is the farthest a Belle Plaine team has advanced in 16 or 17 years," Stull said. "This is a special group of seniors who really helped build a program. They provided great leadership, and will be missed."

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