After swatting away those first game jitters, the Destin Marlins came back to win two straight for a 2-1 victory over Liza Jackson Lions in middle school volleyball action Monday night in Fort Walton Beach.

“We kind of had that deer in the headlight look in that first game,” said first-year Destin Coach Katie Davies. “It was a matter of gelling and pulling our team together and figuring each other out.”

By the second game, “I felt like it just all came into place,” Davies said.

“I’m very proud of them in the way they persevered,” she added.

In that first game, Destin had the early lead 11-7, but then Liza went on an 11-point scoring spree with Bailey Gable at the service line. Destin finally broke the serve and put up three points, but then Liza got the advantage back and went up 23-15.

Liza Jackson went on to finish off that first game 25-18.

In game two, Destin again took the early lead at 8-4. Liza Jackson came back to tie the game at 8-8. The game stayed close but the Destin Marlins stayed just a step ahead with Jessica Pierce and Kasidy Braden each picking up a couple of points at the service line. Liza stayed in the game with three straight for a 16-15 game, but that was as close as they would get.

Destin’s Kyla Buehner finished off the game with seven consecutive points for a 25-16 victory.

In game three, Destin stayed on top throughout picking up three points at the time. Serving up points were Amrah DeSimone, Buehner, Ava Smith, SummerLee Baldwin and Braden. Destin won the final game 15-8.

“I felt like in the second game the girls made smart decisions instead of panicking,” Davies said. “I’m so proud of them.”

Up next for Destin is a 5 p.m. game at home Wednesday against St. Mary’s of Fort Walton Beach.