Marshall volleyball

Elizabeth Palmer and the Lady Mavericks are slated to open up district play today when they play host to the Pine Tree Lady Pirates.

So far, Elizabeth Palmer’s favorite high school volleyball memory is when her Lady Mavs snapped a winless streak against district opponents.

“The best moment so far in high school was beating Nac for our first district win to break the streak last year,” Palmer said. “That was amazing.”

Palmer and her Lady Mavs are hoping to add a few more district wins this season and that starts today when they play host to Pine Tree for the district opener.

“For the rest of the season, I think we could do very well,” Palmer said. “We’ve won six out of the last seven we’ve worked really hard on our communication so if we keep carrying that into district, I think we’re going to make it pretty far.”

Palmer said both her individual game and her team’s game have come a long way since last year.

“Right now I think it’s our offense because we’re running a lot of quick sets and we’re getting Jordan (Terry) the ball and our outsides are putting it away,” Palmer said when asked about her team’s greatest strengths. “Our blocking is really good too.

“I think my serve-receive has gotten a lot better,” she added of her own game. “It’s gotten more up in the goal where coach (Kayla) Green has given me and it has stayed there with less of a rollercoaster movement.”

As a senior, Palmer knows her teammates are looking to her for leadership.

“I’ve really worked hard on talking more, being more aggressive with the balls that I take and making sure I call it early on serve-receive so everyone knows I’m going to take it and we don’t have to compete for it,” the senior said. “I think I’m more of a vocal leader. I yell a lot. I’m really loud but I also like to try to lead other people be helping them out and letting them know it’s going to be OK, especially the underclassmen. Like one mistake in a play, it’s going to be OK. Just move onto the next one. There’s always going to be another play.”

“Liz brings energy and effort to the table,” Green, the Lady Mavs head coach said. “You can never tell what kind of day she is having because she always has a smile on her face. Her teammates described her as someone who works hard every day and gives it all she has. She is a vocal leader on and off the court and I expect her intensity to be contagious throughout the team this year.”

One lesson Palmer has learned throughout her years playing volleyball is one day doesn’t define a person.

“You can’t focus on mistakes that you made the play before,” she said. “It helps me realize you have another day. It’s one bad day, it’s going to be OK and one bad play doesn’t define how good of a player you are.”

Those are lessons she’ll take with her after high school.

“I just sent my application to Baylor and I’m pretty sure I’m going to get in so I’m really excited about that,” she said. “I have no idea what I want to major in. I probably want to be a teacher but I haven’t decided yet and I’m not worried about it. The school I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time is Baylor.”

The choice of a major is not one to rush and Palmer is currently more focused on finishing high school on a strong note.

“I’m feeling really good,” she offered. “Our Marshall tournament was really great and we had a tune-up last week, so that was good and we’re kind of going in with some momentum so that’s really good.

“I think we feel really good about our chances too because we’ve gotten a lot better. I think we’ve already won as many games as we had last year, so the confidence boosting helps a lot.”

As for today’s game against Pine Tree, Palmer said her Lady Mavs, who own a record of 13-11, need to focus on doing what they do best.

“Just taking care of our side,” Palmer said when asked about the key to starting off district 1-0. “We watched film on them today so we kind of know what to expect and how we need to play in order to get the W.”

Today’s action between the Lady Mavs and Lady Pirates is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m.