GREENFIELD — The Mt. Vernon Marauders picked up three straight wins against three state-ranked opponents to open their recent seven-day stretch. On Saturday, the formerly unranked Marauders capped their grueling run with four shutouts to defend their Cougar Challenge team title at Greenfield-Central High School.
The Marauders cruised through the tournament’s pool play and placement rounds, sweeping Danville and Daleville, 2-0, and defeating Homestead 2-0 before taking down the host Cougars 2-0 in the championship match.
Against Danville, Mt. Vernon held its opponent under 21 points, winning the pool play match 25-19, 25-10. The Marauders rolled past Daleville during the championship rounds, winning 25-21, 25-11.
Homestead fell 25-10, 25-19 in pool play to Mt. Vernon, while Greenfield-Central rallied back late after losing their first game against Marauders, 25-13, in the championship. The Cougars dropped the final game, however, 25-23.
Class 4A Mt. Vernon’s 4-0 performance in the tournament extended their winning streak to seven straight the past week after knocking off 4A No. 10 Center Grove 3-2 on Sept. 17, 2A Triton Central 3-0 on Sept. 21, and 4A No. 8 Lawrence North 3-1 on Sept. 22.
Mt. Vernon has won eight of its last nine matches to improve to 16-6 overall this season.
Greenfield-Central (13-8) finished second at the Cougar Challenge with a 3-1 record. They toppled Batesville 25-20, 25-20 and Anderson 25-6, 25-9 in pool play.
Their 25-20, 25-17 win against Daleville in the championship rounds setup the rematch with Mt. Vernon, which swept Greenfield-Central 3-0 on Sept. 13 during their regular-season Hoosier Heritage Conference matchup.
Jaclyn Bulmahn, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, recorded 10 kills and two blocks in the championship match. Julia Wayer was selected to the All-Tournament team and had 18 digs in the finale.
Greenfield-Central’s Emily Diehr and Laura Banton were also named to the All-Tournament team. Daleville was third as a team with a 2-2 record. Batesville was fourth at 3-1 and Homestead was fifth at 2-2 in the nine-team tournament.
Cougar Challenge All-Tournament Team
Kylie Paul, Batesville
Lindsay Ingenito, Daleville
Zoe Skinner, Danville
Payton Krahn, Homestead
Elise Wilcox, Homestead
Emily Diehr, Greenfield-Central
Laura Banton, Greenfield-Central
Jaclyn Bulmahn, Mt. Vernon*
Julia Wayer, Mt. Vernon
Olivia Utterback, Plainfield
* Tournament MVP
Final Team Standings
Mt. Vernon 4-0