The Marble Falls High School volleyball program is continuing to host weekly matches at Marble Falls Middle School with the only changes are on the day of the week and the addition of other teams.
Beginning Wednesday, June 8, players representing Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano and Marble Falls high schools will meet at 5 p.m. to play two matches per night and will call one contest. In May, the Lady Mustangs hosted a similar evening of volleyball, on Mondays, with Burnet, Llano and Killeen Harker Heights that was played at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Circle Drive.
Both courts will be used and divided in half to allow four matches to be played at once. One gym will go to varsity teams, while the other is for the junior varsity.
Marble Falls head coach Kait Goertz decided to change the night of competition to avoid bumping up against the Lampasas June Basketball League that happens on Mondays.
“We play a one-hour time limit, including a warm-up,” she said. “Mostly they’ve played two sets but some have gone to three.”
While giving athletes an opportunity to play is important, Goertz said that she is also examining other traits in her players and believes most of her counterparts in the other programs are doing the same.
Goertz wants to see how her players interact with each other, how they communicate and set their lineups, how they’re substituting and what’s working.
“I want to see how people work together,” she said. “Maybe they have a combination I haven’t thought about. I have my sophomores through seniors mixed together. Are those sophomores able to keep up on this level? I want them fighting for varsity spots. This is your chance to show me you can handle the speed of the game.”
Like most coaches, Goertz already knows the strengths of her players. She wants the Lady Mustangs to understand the value of facing an opponent that may be unfamiliar to them, one where they must make on-court adjustments and coach themselves in order to give themselves a chance to be successful.
“I’ve seen their physical ability,” she said of her athletes. “I’ll see that during two-a-days in August. Now I get to see them against someone else they don’t see everyday in practice.”
The May league accomplished what Goertz wanted — athletes playing without traveling out of Marble Falls to do so. The added bonus was the Lady Mustangs also could see themselves improving. She noted the Lady Mustangs took Harker Heights to three sets where it had to surpass 25 points to get the necessary two points for the win.
“We had three returners; three sophomores, two juniors and a senior,” the coach said.
Marble Falls is expecting players projected to be on the varsity to participate throughout the month, which is easier since the middle school is in the Marble Falls Independent School District boundary lines.
“One hundred percent of my returners and a good percentage of freshmen signed up as well,” she said. “I have about 15 freshmen and about 27 older girls playing. I create the teams each week that may change depending on who we have and who we don’t. Some want to try different positions. They recognize what I’m going for when I give them their team.”
But Marble Falls athletes aren’t the only ones who are enjoying the location. By playing in Marble Falls, surrounding teams travel no more than 45 minutes to play and avoid the Austin traffic.
“There’s not a reason not to come,” Goertz said. “The girls love it. It’s nice for all of us.”
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