Posted On: 10/24/13 11:31 PM

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OMAHA – Both Millard North and Omaha Marian had to be experiencing déjà vu  during the Mustangs’ 25-23, 20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11 victory on Thursday night.

For Class A #2 Millard North, it marked the fourth time the Mustangs have gone five sets with an opponent this month and was the 14th match on the season which went the maximum number of sets.

On the Marian side, it was the Crusaders second five-set loss in an epic match against a highly-ranked opponent in just three days. On Tuesday,  #3 Marian also got out to a 2-1 lead before falling in five sets to #1 Millard West.

So, how evenly matched are the two teams? Each has beaten the other in the last week. Both have records of 23-10 and – incredibly – both stand with a NSAA wildcard total of 43.3030 as of 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

After splitting the first two sets, Marian jumped to a 17-10 lead in the third set on a kill by 6-foot-2 junior Kelsey O’Connell, who finished with a match-high 15 kills. Millard North, however, battled back and had the set tied at 22 apiece following a Marian service error. But, two more kills by O’Connell and a Millard North hitting error gave the Crusaders a third-set win.

The fourth set was a complete reversal of fortunes however as the Mustangs scored the first five points and built an early led of 8-1 and stretched it to 19-11 on a kill by Nikki Ohlinger before holding on for a 25-20 win to force a fifth set.

In the fifth set, with the scored tied at five apiece, a kill by Millard North’s Elisa Wildy and consecutive hitting errors by the Crusaders put the Mustangs ahead for good at 8-5.  Marian did battle back and made it 12-11 on another O’Connell kill but momentum swung back to Millard North when the Crusaders were whistled for a two-hit violation and Bella Siciunas kill got the score to 14-11. An errant Marian hit on match point gave the victory to the Mustangs.

Siciunas and Wildy each led Millard North with 11 kills while Katherine King added eight kills and three blocks. O’Connell’s 15 kills led Marian while Lauren Gamm added 12, Elizabeth Loschen had 10 kills and three blocks and Anna Krettek added nine kills and two aces.

Both teams wrap of their regular season next week with the Metro Conference Tournament in Papillion.