The Destin Marlins put Liza Jackson away in two sets, 25-21, 25-16 in middle school volleyball action Wednesday afternoon in Destin.
“The girls really played well the second set. They found their rhythm and worked extremely well as a team,” said Destin Coach Katie Davies. “Overall, I was most impressed with their movement on the court.”
After falling behind 6-2 in the first set, the Marlins fought back with Ava Smith serving up six straight to go up 9-6. The ball went side out, then Destin picked up a couple of more points with SummerLee Baldwin at the service line. Amrah DeSimone placed a shot, catching the Lions off guard while Baldwin knocked in a couple of aces for a 13-8 advantage.
Destin missed and then Liza took over and put up four consecutive points, with the Marlins not able to dig out a couple of shots. The Marlins finally broke the serve and then went on a rampage with Jessica Pierce at the line. Pierce served up five straight for a 20-13 lead.
Late in the set, Liza Jackson had closed it down to a 23-21 game. Destin’s Smith scored a point for the Marlins placing a shot in the hole, and then Kyle Buehner finished off the game with a quick serve for the win.
In the second set, Destin got an early 7-2 lead with Smith hammering in a couple of shots and hitting in four from the service line with Pierce tipping one in for the Marlins.
The scoring went back and forth with Destin’s Blakely York, Pierce and DeSimone getting in a couple of good shots for a 12-5 advantage.
The ball went side out a couple of times before Destin finished up the game with Baldwin scoring two points, followed by Pierce with four straight, and then Kasidy Braden knocked in two points for the win.
“I felt like we played our best game yet, and I’m looking forward to building on that momentum in the games to come,” Davies said.
Up next for Destin is a 5 p.m. home game Sept. 24 against the Baker Gators.