Marble Falls High School head volleyball coach Kait Goertz has maintained her Lady Mustangs are much improved this season than at any other time she has been at the helm. She has upheld the most important element to the team’s success is players believing their coach when she tells them they have what it takes to turn the program.
And they showed it all in a three-set victory against Austin Northeast Aug. 16, 25-20, 25-22, 25-14.
“This group is something special – that’s one of the things I told them,” Goertz said. “The last time Marble Falls won in straight sets is 2018. This is huge because that’s tough mentally to break that barrier.”
In the first 2 sets, Northeast didn’t back down. The Lady Raiders kept answering the Lady Mustangs (2-6) point for point. That was especially true in the second game when Marble Falls led 4-0 and Northeast responded by scoring four points of their own for a tie. Neither team allowed the other to take more than a two-point lead.
But where the Lady Mustangs were simply better came down to the ways they scored. Senior middle blocker Dallyn Pickett was a menace at the net. She along with junior Jenna Greer had several blocks that swung momentum back and fired up their teammates while taking the Lady Raiders’ resolve a little at a time.
“Our blocking had a huge impact,” Goertz said. “Blocks aren’t necessarily there to block the ball; they’re making hitters adjust to avoid being blocked. Our blockers were making their hitters do what we wanted them to do. They made Northeast change what they wanted to do.”
The result was the ball was hit to a Lady Mustang defender who dug it or it went out of bounds.
“Those are full momentum shifts,” Goertz said. “It makes their hitters start questioning.”
With the score tied at 21-21, Marble Falls won four of the final five points to take the set.
Winning that second game was crucial for each team’s mindset as the Lady Mustangs went to another level and Northeast struggled to match their opponents. In a short amount of time, Marble Falls had match point and then an important victory in front of the home crowd.
Goertz counted off the number of traits her players displayed, which they’ve been working on.
“Our aggressiveness,” she said. “We were going out and swinging the ball. Tonight we were trying to be the aggressors. That’s one of our standards for this year.”
Another, she added, is showing each other their confidence in one another.
“We’re working towards trusting each other,” the coach said. “No breakdowns in communication and us trying to do others’ jobs.”
She noted the Lady Mustangs still had unforced errors, but most came on being aggressive such as spiking the ball and it going out of bounds or bad timing on a jump for a kill.
“I saw three great swings in a row and something was off,” she said. “We were going with what was working, and we were trying to swing.”
While the Lady Mustangs finished the Wimberley Tex-Fest tournament with a 1-4 record and lost in straight sets to Georgetown East View Aug. 15, Goertz said those results don’t reflect what she sees and what she wants her players know.
“At the end of the day, the girls realize they’re stronger than the scoreboard would show,” she said. “We need to improve on our own errors. When we clear that up, we’ll be hard to beat.”
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