Destin Marlins hammer the ball home to put Liza Jackson away in two in volleyball action

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

After a shaky start, the Destin Marlins settled down and put the Liza Jackson Lions away in two games in volleyball action Monday evening in Fort Walton Beach. 

“It was a rough start but they pulled it together, it’s a Monday,” said Destin Coach Brooke Blair. 

“They pulled it together and got focused and did what they needed to do,” she said. 

Destin's Gigi Vignali delivers a blow to the Liza Jackson Lions in volleyball action in Fort Walton Beach.

With that focus, the Marlins managed to hit the ball better and serve better than they did last week, according to Blair. 

“They worked together and everybody had their part tonight,” she said. 

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In game one, Destin had to dig their way out of an 8-2 hole. The Marlins battled back with Ava Cramer at the service line for four consecutive points. Candance Berry had a tap in at the net. A few plays later, Destin managed to tie the game at 10-10 and then pulled ahead for the first time, 12-10, with Neilya Stewart at the line. 

The Destin Marlins circle up for a little "ace" celebration against the Liza Jackson Lions.

Liza Jackson tied the game at 12-12 and then pulled ahead 17-14. Destin battled back again with Maya Divens hitting one in for the Marlins to get the ball back. At that point, Destin Shelby Plasier went to the line and served up three points with Gigi Vignali hammering one home at the net. Destin led 18-17 before they came up short on a serve. 

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Destin got the ball back quickly and Divens went to the line and served up three straight points with Kenzi Prosser hammering two home at the net and then Vignali tapping one in for a 22-18 lead. Liza Jackson came within one point of the Marlins, but Destin finished them off with Cramer at the service line. 

Destin's Candace Berry bumps one over for the Marlins.

In game two, Destin pulled ahead 6-3 and never looked back. The Marlins Vignali lowered the boom on the ball for five points, while Berry tapped in three at the net. Kendra Ayers, Divens, Lennon Christy and Prosser each served up aces on the Lions. Destin walked off the floor with a 25-16 victory. 

“Our middles, Candance Berry and Gigi Vignali literally just killed it at the net,” Blair said. 

Destin's Ava Cramer serves it up for the Marlins.

Vignali attributed the good play at the net to “working hard, getting out there and practicing every day and making sure I get my hours in,” she said. 

As for lowering the boom on the ball, “it feels amazing … feels great,” Vignali said. 

With the win the Destin Marlins moved to 2-1 on the season.