Destin Marlins serve up win over Walton

Tina Harbuck

After a slow start, the Destin Marlins put the Walton Warriors away 2-0 in middle school volleyball action Wednesday afternoon in Destin.

Destin won the first game 25-10, and then finished the match with a 25-13 victory in the second game.

“Although our serving was not great, the serves that were in were good serves,” said Destin Coach Allison Gnuse. “Jordyn (Powell) got us going in the first game.”

With the first game tied at 6-6, Powell stepped up to the service line and served up 15 straight for a 21-6 advantage. The majority of her serves were for no returns, plus she had help from Gabi O’Brien at the net with a tap in.

“Our net game has been really good. Gabi has been playing really strong at the net and she saved a lot that would have fallen right behind. Those are tough balls to get to,” Gnuse said.

Destin finally lost the serve on a volley. Walton picked up a couple of points before the Marlins finished off game one with a block by Arleigh Foster and then back-to-back serves from Sydney Wilbur.

In game two, Destin had two really big runs early to get a good jump on the Warriors.

After the Warriors went long on their opening serve, Destin’s Taylor Flint stepped up to the service line and served up seven straight, with Powell getting a tip-in on one of the points for an 8-0 lead. Walton picked up two points, and then Destin went on another scoring spree. Foster served up six consecutive points. O’Brien hammered a couple at the net, plus went up for a block on another to give the Marlins a 15-2 advantage.

Destin put together a couple of short runs with Lindsey Bouck and Lauren Sprenkle serving up multiple points for the Marlins.

Up next for Destin is a road tournament in Tallahassee over the weekend then they will be back at home on Monday to take on Shoal River at 5 p.m. and then travel over to Fort Walton Beach on Wednesday to face the Bruner Spartans.

“That’s a big game for us,” Gnuse said about Shoal River.

The Marlins lost to Shoal earlier in the season.

“We need to win one of those games to make the playoffs," Gnuse said. "But we really want to win two.

“We’re going to work hard in practice … tighten up on serves and a few other things to prepare for that Shoal River game,” she added.