Lady Marlins pull off win over Bruner

Tina Harbuck
Destin's Arleigh Foster goes up for a shot against the Bruner Spartans. Destin won the volleyball match 25-18, 25-16. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

After a slow start, the Destin Marlins rallied to triumph over the Bruner Spartans 25-18, 25-16 in middle school volleyball action Wednesday afternoon in Fort Walton Beach.

“We did what we needed to win the game tonight,” said Destin Coach Allison Gnuse. “Practice is going to be tough in preparation for Monday night.”

With the win over Bruner, Destin finished the regular season with a 10-4 record and is the third seed going into the Okaloosa County Tournament. Destin will be traveling to Davidson Middle School in Crestview for a 5 p.m. game Monday in the first round.

In Wednesday’s game at Bruner, the Marlins struggled to start, missing a few serves and hits at the net in the first game. With the game tied at 9-9, Destin’s Sydney Wilbur stepped up to the service line and served up six consecutive points with help from Arleigh Foster hammering in a couple of shots, as well as one from Taylor Flint. Destin lost the serve momentarily, but soon got it back on a shot from Kathryn Ballard.

At that point, Flint served up four points for a 20-11 game. Bruner broke the serve and picked up a couple of points on hits out of bounds by the Marlins. Destin got the advantage back on a perfectly placed tap in from Sloane Porter. Forster then delivered three consecutive serves for a 24-14 lead. The Spartans broke the serve and scored three before hitting one into the net giving Destin the winning point, 25-18.

In game two, Destin took an early 3-0 lead on a pair of aces from Flint, and then turned it over on a lost ball at the net. Bruner, however, missed a serve giving the ball back to the Marlins. Destin scored on an ace from Foster for a 5-1 game.

Down the stretch, Destin’s Gabi O’Brien had a block at the net for a point, as well as hammering in a kill shot for a 9-5 lead.

Destin’s Jordyn Powell stepped up to the line and served up five straight with Wilbur blocking a return, Foster delivering a kill shot and O’Brien tapping one in for a 14-5 game.

The Marlins gave up a couple of points on missed serves, as well as five straight points on serves offered by the Spartans for a 21-14 game.

In the last few minutes of play, Destin finished it off with Ballard offering another blow and then O’Brien finished it off for a 25-16 victory.