Farmington Hills Mercy edges Birmingham Marian in five sets

Timothy Arrick

It took five hard fought sets Wednesday night to determine who would be sitting atop of the CHSL Central Division but in the end, Farmington Hills Mercy was able to squeak by Marian 25-20, 20-25, 17-25, 27-25 and 15-7 to take the 3-2 victory and move to 4-0 in the league.

In the first set, Mercy opened up a 21-14 lead but Marian slowly began to chip away at the lead closing the gap to 24-20 before eventually falling 25-20 to the Marlins.

Related: Photo gallery from Mercy vs. Marian

Mercy head coach Loretta Vogel wasn’t happy with her team’s performance even after the first set victory.

“I thought in the first set we were struggling. I felt that we just couldn’t get the motor running. I thought that some of the tips they had, we never should have allowed them to think they could play that kind of a game with us,” Vogel said.

In the second and third sets, those little things worked against the Marlins as they dropped the second set 20-25 and the third set 17-25 giving the Mustangs a 2-1 lead headed into the fourth set.

Marian held the lead through the majority of the fourth set but was never quite able to put the Marlins away as they rallied to tie the set 22-22 before taking home the 27-25 fourth set victory tying the match at two sets a piece.

Summing up the match afterwards, Marian head coach Lauren Duquette had this to say. “We did do stuff (tonight). We didn’t earn points, we didn’t pass as well, we didn’t make the best offensive choices. We will step up and learn from it.”

In the finale both teams traded points back and forth for a 2-2 score before Mercy began to pull away from Marian. The Marlins pulled out to an 11-5 lead before closing out the match with a 15-7 victory in the fifth set and a 3-2 match win.

Mercy was paces on the evening by Jess Mruzik with 18 kills, Logan Beyer with 18 digs, Lauren Hunter with 21 digs and Mallory Conrad with five blocks.

Leading Marian on the night was Claire Winter with 29 digs, Sarah Cavanaugh with four aces, and Christine Audette with 15 kills, 12 digs and two blocks.

The win moves Mercy to 19-3-1 on the season and 4-0 in CHSL play while the loss drops Marian to 20-7-1 and 3-1 in CHSL play.