CAPTION: Marble Falls senior Sadie Harris and the Lady Mustangs’ fight gave them a chance at winning a tough match at Lago Vista Oct. 20. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
The Marble Falls High School volleyball team lost to Lago Vista 17-25, 25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 10-15 Oct. 20.
With the win, the Lady Vikings swept the season series with the Lady Mustangs to secure fourth place in the District 24-4A standings and the final playoff berth. Marble Falls needed to beat Lago Vista and Lampasas Oct. 24 to force a play-in match with Lago Vista for the playoff berth.
“We fought,” Marble Falls head coach Kait Goertz said. “There’s no denying that. We fought till the end in that one. It is unfortunate. I feel like our first set was the worst. We tried to close them out in four sets in Lago. That’s a tough spot to be in.”
The Lady Mustangs, knowing what was at stake, are still learning how to play in a meaningful match in late October, Goertz pointed out. This team won a district match to end a 62-match losing streak in district play Oct. 6, which dates back to when these seniors were in the seventh grade. Meanwhile, Lago Vista reached the Class 4A Region III tournament a year ago. Goertz believes that experience helped the Lady Vikings, especially late in the match.
To help the Lady Mustangs stay in a positive mindset, varsity assistant coach Tyler Porter told the players that it’s a good thing to have expectations.
“People think you’re capable of doing something,” he told them. “Pressure is a privilege.”
Goertz pointed out that though the Lady Vikings took a lead in the opening set, the Lady Mustangs began a comeback. But the gap was too big.
“In the first set, I wished we’d put up a stronger set to open the match and wore them out at the beginning,” she said. “I felt like we were tight. No matter what, Lago Vista was going to be a big match in the second round. And it was. One is fighting to hold onto that fourth spot. And the other team is fighting for a play-in. I can non condemn the fight we had.”
As the match played out, each squad refused to give in. In the final set, Marble Falls took an early 4-0 lead.
“They couldn’t get the ball back to us,” Goertz said. “We had two aces and a block. We put that ball straight down at them with a force. And then to turn around and lose that fifth set – the pressure in the fifth set started getting to us.”
The coach struggled to describe the atmosphere in the locker room following the match.
“It was silent and numb,” she said. “It was quiet. Those who didn’t fully believe realized we had a chance, and it was gone. I can’t explain the emotions of that locker room. We really thought we had that match.”
Lago Vista was led by senior Jada Malone, who had 15 kills, 3 blocks and 14 digs.
“Kudos to (Malone),” Goertz said. “In set five, she took over. We went down swinging, we went down fighting. We were fighting that whole night.”
The Lady Mustangs welcome Lampasas at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, to end the 2023 season. The program will honor its seniors.
“This is the best district finish our program has had in years,” Goertz said. “To be one slot out of the playoffs is big for our program.”
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