Lady Panthers defeat Marble Falls in early season match

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Lady Panther Kelsey Hamrick goes up for the kill during a match at Marble Falls Tuesday night. (Lauren Jette Photo)

By Lauren Jette

MARBLE FALLS — The Lady Panther volleyball team was tested late in the match, but pulled out a straight-set win over the Marble Falls Lady Mustangs Tuesday night, 25-10, 25-16 and 25-22.

“It was a good night for us all,” said head coach Gretchen Peterson. “We struggled to finish in set three, and Marble Falls really stepped up defensively, but I was proud of how our girls kept their composure and found a way to get the job done.”

In the first set, Liberty Hill jumped out to a 6-1 lead and edged out to a 12-5 lead to force a Marble Falls timeout, which didn’t seem to break the momentum any as the Lady Panthers went on a 13-5 streak to claim the first set.

Marble Falls stepped up its game in the second set by staying with the Lady Panthers point for point early on. Liberty Hill broke the pendulum to take and grow a lead around the 15-point mark.

With the score at 22-15, the Lady Mustangs took another timeout, but couldn’t stop the Lady Panthers from taking the second set.

Only needing one more set to close out the match, the Lady Panthers jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the final set before the Lady Mustangs came thundering back and built a 7-3 lead, forcing Liberty Hill to take its first timeout of the night.

The Lady Panthers closed the gap and tied the score up at 12 points each, and then reclaimed the lead on the following point. Liberty Hill built that lead up to five points at 20-15, but Marble Falls wouldn’t go down quietly, stringing together six points to cut Liberty Hill’s lead down to one at 22-21.

Peterson called for a timeout to rally her players, who took three of the next four points to close out the match.

“We are still making strides in the right direction and make connections on the court,” Peterson said. “We just need to keep focusing on consistency with passing and pushing the tempo.”

In Marble Falls, Hailey Barrows, Tori Graves, Kingsley Erps and Allee Nix each had five kills; three aces from Graves and Erps; 12 digs from Savannah Stanley; 3 blocks by Barrows and 24 assists by Brooklynn Jones.

The Lady Panthers will get the opportunity to continue practicing at that during a tournament in Bastrop Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before hosting Round Rock McNeil at home next Tuesday.

sports@LHIndependent.com

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