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VOLLEYBALL: Lady Mustangs fall to state’s No. 2 team

 in Class 4A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association, 10-25, 11-25 and 13-25 Sept. 30.

Marble Falls head coach Mich Robertson said executing an offense starts at one point.

“We have to pass better,” she said. “They have strong hitters, but if we’re not passing, it’s a mute point. All we can do is go to work.”

In game one, Marble Falls took a 4-1 lead thanks to several Hutto errors and a block by Lauren Persyn and Corinne Coffey. But the Lady Hippos went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead. That was snapped by a Persyn kill to cut the lead, 5-7. But that was as close as Marble Falls would come as Hutto outscored the Lady Mustangs, 12-2 and 6-2, to take the first game. 

The Lady Hippos began the second set on a 5-0 run. Marble Falls got on the board on a Hutto service error and an ace. But the Lady Hippos went on a 13-2 run that was snapped on a Hutto error. Marble Falls setter Kelly Hacker bumped the ball over the net on a free ball that caught the Hutto defense off guard for a point. Teammate Kimberlin Ackerman recorded a kill
down the line, and Persyn rounded out the Marble Falls scoring by tapping the ball to the left of the block. 

In the last set, Hutto took a 4-0 lead, but two errors trimmed the deficit to 2-5. Taylor Cameron recorded two aces and she added a cross-court kill to cut the lead, 5-6.

Hutto added four more points and then committed two errors to give Marble Falls the points. Persyn recorded a block toward the end of the contest. 

“We need to pass the ball,” Robertson said. “We need to work on serve-receive and defense.”

Marble Falls passed at 1.3 percent for the match. The Lady Mustangs had been at 2 percent the last few weeks.

“It’s hard to play when the passes aren’t there,” Robertson said. 

Persyn led the Lady Mustangs with four kills. Hacker recorded five assists. Cameron added two aces, while Chelby Lusinger recorded seven digs.

Hutto head coach Janiece Nelson, whose squad earned her 500th career win in August, said the reason for the program’s success can be attributed to one factor.

“(My athletes) have been playing together since the sixth grade,” she said. “They’re like family.”

With more than 10 seniors and four juniors, Nelson said the Lady Hippos log significant playing time during the year, including club ball and summer leagues. 

The Lady Hippos are 28-6 overall with the six losses to Class 5A schools. 

The Lady Mustangs will travel to play Killeen High Friday.

“They’re big and athletic,” Robertson said. “We have to pass the ball and play strong defense.”

The good news, Robertson said, is that Marble Falls has played the top two squads in district to begin league play and she believes her players will be able to focus on the upcoming matches.

“You have to put the past behind you,” she said. “You have to focus on the here and now.”