CAPTION: The Marble Falls Lady Mustangs savor the moment in their final timeout of the 2023 season. Photo by Christopher Miles/Christopher Miles Photography
The Marble Falls High School volleyball team beat Lampasas 25-13, 25-16, 25-22 Oct. 24 to close out the season.
The Lady Mustangs (10-21, 2-8 District 24-4A) earned two district wins for the first time in years.
“I’m so proud of this group of seniors,” head coach Kait Goertz said. “I believe they have the most successful record in the program in a decade.”
The match had little drama until the Lady Mustangs reached match point at 24-16 and called a timeout.
When they stepped back on the floor, the Lady Badgers fought off six match points to decrease the gap to 22-24.
But on the final point, senior setter Ava Carter took the pass and immediately set up senior outside hitter Sadie Harris, regarded as the squad’s best player. With one swing, Harris ended the match and set off a joyous celebration with her teammates as they huddled tightly together near the net.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect it,” Harris said. “There were so many things that led up to that moment. It’s great having that last one.”
“I can’t tell you the last time Marble Falls ended the season with a win,” Goertz said. “To win on senior night is incredible. This is the most talented and experienced group we’ve had.”
The last time Marble Falls won its final match of the season was Oct. 26, 2010 against Leander Rouse, which had opened in 2008, 25-20, 25-21, 25-14. This year’s seniors were in elementary schools.
Both Harris and Goertz noted these seniors have been through a lot. They were in the eighth grade when Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texans to stay at home during the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. As freshmen, the class of 2024 experienced a true test of stamina and endurance during the volleyball season that fall.
Goertz pointed out that during an eight-day period, the Lady Mustangs played the entire first round of District 25-5A play in two double-headers on back-to-back Saturdays and a match on Tuesday and Friday. Harris ended the shortened season with 21 kills.
Harris, a four-year letterman, grinned as she thought back to her first year on the varsity and the accomplishments from then to now.
“We’ve been through a lot,” she said. “We haven’t had a lot of impressive games in the past. Over the years, I’ve watched the team grow. It’s so crazy how much has changed. I’m proud of my teammates for everything this entire season.”
The program continues to work through the years of being in District 25-5A, regarded as the top district in Class 5A Region IV for decades. It had four Leander Independent School District schools, both Georgetown schools and Liberty Hill. The district is one reason why the Lady Mustangs had lost 62-consecutive district matches leading up to the three-set sweep of Lampasas Oct. 6.
“There’s scarring left behind,” the coach said. “But this group is leaving the foundation, the energy, joy and passion. These seniors made me a better coach. It’s a little surreal what Marble Falls volleyball looks like without this group. It’s a different group, so it hits different.”
The nine seniors — Alexis Dalton, Karis Goebel, Jenna Greer, Emily Martin, Leah Nash, Ashlynn Skero, Kaley Smith, Carter and Harris — were freshmen when Goertz took over as the head coach.
“It was important,” Harris said of winning the final match of the season. “I was nervous. We hadn’t ended the season on a good note in a couple of years. Not only for the seniors but looking ahead, the team can come back and be really excited.”
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