Marshall Lady Mavs go 2-1 in pool play

Keara Irving hits the ball over the net Thursday during the Lady Mavs' volleyball match against Center.

Marshall's volleyball team will enter the gold bracket of the 33rd Annual McKool Smith Marshall-ETBU Invitational on Saturday.

The Lady Mavs went 2-1 in pool play Thursday by beating Center 25-19, 25-19, then losing to Liberty-Eylau 29-30, 23-25. They then closed off pool play by beating Harmony 25-12, 25-16.

The match against Center saw Ja'Kiya Fisher come away with five kills and one block. Kiari Johnson had two kills, one ace and two blocks. Chloe Buchanan had 15 digs.

Johnson had three kills and two aces against Liberty Eylau. Jasmine Mitchell had three kills. Keara Irving had two blocks and Buchanan had 15 digs once again.

In the final match, Johnson had seven kills and two blocks. Gabby Moore had two kills, 20 assists and five aces. Ry'An Sharpless had six kills and two blocks. Buchanan had 16 digs and one ace.

"That last game was probably the best game I've seen with the girls coming out with energy and staying with energy the whole time," Marshall head volleyball coach Kayla Green said. "That shows me that we're improving in that area. We also did a great job of going on runs, which is something that we've been working on as well. I feel good going into Saturday."

Sharpless scored the first point to give the Lady Mavs a 1-0 lead. Fisher slammed it down for a kill to put the Lady Mavs back on top at 3-2.

Shortly after that, Harmony's Katelyn Seahorn tied it back up, 4-4, before Khalia Anderson gave her team a 6-4 lead.

Marshall then built its lead to 10-6, forcing the Lady Eagles to call timeout.

Johnson and Fisher each had a kill to excite the crowd and helped build Marshall's lead to 13-8. Marshall scored six straight points to take a 23-12 lead before putting the finishing touches on a 25-12 win.

A trio of points by Johnson gave the Lady Mavs an early 3-1 lead before Moore added to it, making it 4-1.

The Lady Eagles kept it close and narrowed the gap to 7-6 before Sharpless' kill made it 8-6. An ace from Cate Truelove made it 10-7.

Johnson gave her team a little more breathing room once again as her Lady Mavs led 12-9.

An ace from Moore spread Marshall's lead to 16-11.

The Lady Mavs remained in the driver's seat as a kill from Sharpless set up game point at 24-15. Johnson put the finishing touches on it to seal up the 25-16 win.

Sports Editor