CAPTION: Marble Falls senior outside hitter Sadie Harris ends a rally with a spike from the middle of the court. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Marble Falls High School volleyball team lost to Little River Academy 19-25, 14-25, 22-25 in its home opener Aug. 15.
The Lady Mustangs (0-2) matched the Bumblebees point for the point in the opening set with both clubs playing to an 11-11 tie. But when Little River Academy took a 15-11 lead, Marble Falls responded to tie it again at 15-15. The Bumblebees had one more run for a 20-15 advantage, which proved too much and allowed them to claim the opening set.
Marble Falls took a slight lead in the final set by about three points only to have Little River Academy tie it. This set featured the longest rally of the night, with Marble Falls spiking the ball four times and Little River Academy coming up with the dig. Finally senior outside hitter Sadie Harris took a set on the left side and ended the point with a thunderous kill that caused the Marble Falls bench to leap with joy. As her teammates surrounded her to celebrate, Harris kept staring at the Bumblebees.
“She came out with authority,” head coach Kait Goertz said. “She took control. That’s what we want from her.”
Little River Academy responded by earning points of their own and then closing out the match.
“I thought we played well,” Goertz said. “We had some players who came back. We tried to get them into the rotation to see what they can give to the team.”
The Lady Mustangs used different personnel in key positions. They also changed their offense in the final set and asked the front row to take a step backward to lessen the gap between the two rows. That forced Little River Academy’s servers to try to serve just over the net for aces, which proved to be difficult.
Senior libero Leah Nash was the Lady Mustangs’ most consistent server in that she didn’t allow the Bumblebees to get an easy serve and start their offense. Their defensive specialists had to move to make a pass to the setter, which wasn’t very clean and gave the Marble Falls defense an extra couple of seconds to get ready.
Senior setter Ava Carter kept her teammates involved in the hitting by distributing the ball to different spots on the court. That didn’t allow Little River to comfortably set up its block and defense.
Junior Kyleigh Roberts slid from one side of the front row to the other to help form blocks that forced the Bumblebee hitters to hit long or to a defensive specialist ready to make a play. Senior outside hitter Jenna Greer and junior outside hitter Mia Trejo were on the front line to form those blocks.
“I thought our defense did a great job being in position,” the coach said. “We were in our spots; that’s a positive to me.”
Marble Falls travels to the Tournament by the Bay to face teams playing in Region III of the University Interscholastic League. The Lady Mustangs are in the same pool as Bay City, Mineral Wells and Tyler Chapel Hill.
“I think they’re excited about what they’re doing,” Goertz said. “We’re putting in the work. We want to see the rewards.”
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