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The Marble Falls High School volleyball program is once more hosting a June league each Wednesday until the end of the month.
League play begins at 5 p.m. at Marble Falls Middle School and includes Burnet, Faith Academy, Johnson City, Lampasas and Llano.
The league will be divided between junior varsity and varsity.
“My junior varsity are the incoming freshmen,” Lady Mustangs head coach Kait Goertz said. “We’ll have JV and varsity players in the varsity division.”
This is the second summer that Marble Falls is hosting the league. Goertz said the other head coaches face the same obstacles: their athletes want to play but find traveling to Austin is expensive.
“We don’t have resources readily available to our players,” she said. “Let’s get all of our kids involved, let’s let them be competitive. I really enjoy it. It’s the best thing for my kids. It’s also good for the other programs. We get to play together. (The players) coach themselves. The freshmen are getting to know me, and they’re fighting through their nerves early. It helps me build relationships with incoming freshmen earlier.”
She chose MFMS because of the way the gymnasiums are constructed; they are side by side. That gives coaches the ability to walk between the courts to observe their athletes.
Each court is divided in half to allow four matches to be played at once. Coaches agree the most important part of the league is players having lots of minutes each week to play.
During the May league Marble Falls hosted, Goertz said she enjoyed watching the players’ court chemistry and how they interacted and communicated with each other. And she wasn’t the only one who noticed.
“Even our parents commented on how well we communicated and looked,” she said.
She noted court chemistry doesn’t happen by accident.
“It’s the hardest thing to try to do as a coach,” she said. “In Marble Falls, we’ve had to go through some ups and downs. When you go through a whole lot of things, it brings you together.”
One of the biggest is playing in District 25-5A and fighting through the effects. That district consistently produced the Class 5A Region IV champion that was battle tested because of the depth of talent, experience and drive throughout the district that featured both Georgetown schools, four Leander schools and Liberty Hill.
This season the Lady Mustangs will compete once again in District 24-4A where Burnet has won the last two district championships. Also in the district are Georgetown Gateway, Jarrell, Lago Vista and Lampasas. The Marble Falls volleyball team looks to do what its counterparts in girls basketball and soccer have done: earn a playoff berth.
That work continues this summer with the strength and conditioning program and playing volleyball weekly.
Few can talk about Marble Falls volleyball without Sadie Harris, the team’s top hitter who returns for her final year, Ava Carter, Alex Dalton, Emily Martin, Leah Nash and Mia Trejo. Carter was the team’s starting setter in 2022. Last year Carter, Harris and Martin were named first team all-district, while Trejo was named second team all-district as a sophomore. Middle blocker Dalton was named all-district honorable mention.
Harris is a four-year letterman and Martin and Nash are two-year lettermen.
Goertz pointed out Carter and Harris are a dynamic duo because they understand each other’s tendencies and know where to spot up in order to end a rally. The setter is the offense’s ball distributor and must match up hitters to blockers to earn points in each set.
“Obviously, Sadie has been a big presence for us,” the coach said.
Coaches are projecting three newcomers to the team this season: Peyton Dunn, Kenadi Dalton and Karis Goebel.
“We’re blending in the new pieces,” Goertz said. “The girls are excited about these three players. They merged in so smoothly.”
Goertz said the Lady Mustangs are examining their playbook and scheme along with personnel and are determined to turn their fortunes in 2023.
“I’m really excited for July 31 (the start of two-a-days), to get out on the court and see everything come together,” she said. “We have our camp before that.”
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