NACOGDOCHES – Marshall’s volleyball team made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, but the Lady Mavs were unable to continue their season after falling short to the Huntsville Lady Hornets in three sets, with scores of 25-23, 19-25, 14-25, 7-25.
Marshall’s season comes to an end with a final record of 8-12 while Huntsville advances with a record of 15-5.
“It’s kind of like I’ve been saying, there’s a lot of, and I hate word ‘potential’ that we would see in spurts,” Marshall head volleyball coach Kayla Allen said. “When it was put together, it was really fun to see. The girls seemed to enjoy themselves and be a true family as you say but I really hate that we didn’t have our preseason to settle some kinks that we had at the end. That was a huge part of our ups and downs.”
“We’ve got six sophomores and a couple freshmen who have now experienced this so that’s exciting for the future. I hate it for the seniors because obviously they won’t be here but they’ve built this program. They were my very first class. It is sad to see them go because we’ve been working together for so long but at the same time I will remember them forever because of what they created here and get back to work.”
Mia Dunaway and Mahogani Wilson led Marshall in kills with nine apiece. Jordan Terry was right behind them with eight kills and had one block.
Huntsville’s Kayla Cooper and Jalyn Elliott led the team in kills with 13 apiece. Cooper also had five blocks on the night. Madison Grekstas had four blocks and three kills.
Dunaway slammed it down for the a kill to give the Lady Mavs the first lead of the night. Two plays later, an ace from Caitlyn Ellenburg spread Marshall’s lead to 3-0. The Lady Mavs added to their lead and spread it to 10-5. A kill from Cooper was followed by a point from Jordan Terry and another from Dunaway to give Marshall a 13-9 lead. Moments later, Huntsville called the first timeout of the night with Marshall leading 17-12.
After the timeout, Huntsville chipped its way back into the game and cut Marshall’s lead down to one point, 20-19, and forced Marshall to call its first timeout of the night.
Marshall was unable to return the first serve following the timeout and the game was tied up at 20-20. A kill from Cooper gave the Lady Hornets their first lead of the night but Marshall tied it back up and regained the lead. The ball was hit by Huntsville before it landed out of bounds to give Marshall the 23-22 lead.
The next two points were split between the two teams and Huntsville called timeout when Marshall advanced to just one point away from taking the first set with a 24-23 lead. Mahogani Wilson’s serve scraped the top of the net and landed on Huntsville’s side for the ace, giving Marshall the 25-23 win in set one.
Marshall was unable to return Huntsville’s serve to start of the second set before the Lady Hornets took an early 3-0 lead. The Lady Mavs were forced to call their first timeout of the second set trailing 3-8. Wilson slammed it down for the kill to score the first point after the timeout. Moments later, a kill from Dunaway put her team within one point. The points started falling in Huntsville’s favor as the Lady Hornets took a 16-11 lead and the Lady Mavericks took a timeout.
A block at the net by Cooper gave Huntsville a 21-14 lead. The next four points went to Marshall but it didn’t take long for Huntsville to advance to just one point away from tying up the match. A Marshall serve sailed out of bounds and gave Huntsville the 25-19 win in set two.
It was Marshall’s turn to jump to a quick 3-0 lead in the third set but Huntsville quickly knotted it up and jumped into the lead. Hill added a point for Marshall to put the Lady Mavs within one point before Cooper’s Kill gave her team a little breathing room. That led to Huntsville taking a 12-7 lead and forcing Marshall to call timeout.
The Lady Hornets continued pouring it on and built a double-digit lead, 21-11. The Lady Mavs added a few points but were a point from Chelsea Butler gave Huntsville a 25-14 win in set three.
Huntsville scored the first point of the fourth set but Marshall quickly tied it up at 1-1. The next five straight points went in favor of Huntsville. A kill from Fielder made the score 7-1 and forced Marshall to call timeout. Terry threw it down for a kill but the Lady Mavs still trailed by seven points. The Lady Hornets built another double-digit lead and forced the Lady Mavericks to call timeout, trailing 5-15.
Huntsville continued its dominance and built a 22-6 lead. Wilson ended Huntsville’s scoring streak but the Lady Hornets were just three points away from ending Marshall’s season. Cooper’s kill put her team just one point away from making that happen. After a Huntsville serve landed in the net, Marshall remained a live for just seconds longer before the Hornets punched their ticket to the next round.