By HENRY MILLER
Great baseball teams have a great closer, that pitcher who can come in and slam the door shut on the opponents.
Marmolejo, a senior setter for the Lady Bobcats, opened the day with six straight serves including three aces and set the tone as Edinburg High claimed a four-set 25-9, 25-14, 23-25, 25-10 victory on Saturday over the Lady Raiders to improve to 27-6 overall and 6-1 in district play; their only district loss coming at the hands of Edinburg Vela.
Using a powerful jump serve with heavy topspin to make the ball drop quickly, Marmolejo registered 13 aces in the match. She did the same thing in game four with a flurry of serves and accounted for 23 service points on the day while adding 35 assists, 13 digs, five kills and a block for the Lady Bobcats.
“Any team that can serve effectively and maintain serves – that the thing being able to maintain – you can throw teams off,” said Edinburg head coach Deanna Dominguez. “Dezi has a great jump serve and she showed it today.”
When she wasn’t serving, the Edinburg looked like they were playing in sync. Hitter Tianna Howard, Marissa Arce and Natalie Martinez attacked time and again, combining for 41 kills. Howard had 17, followed by Arce’s 16 and Martinez’s eight. This was Martinez’s first match back after suffering a foot injury. While she mostly plays middle hitter/blocker, Dominguez also gave her some time on the outside.
“She blocks, she hits and she always has that game face out. She wants to do well for the team above herself and really brings that to us,” said Dominguez, whose roster is just eight players deep. “All of our girls bring a little something different to the table. They all play a role and we need that.”
While Edinburg was winning the game on serve and at the net, they also kept the Lady Raiders off balance by mixing in tips and deep balls to the corner, opening up the entire court and creating bigger holes.
“We have moments sometimes when we look amazing and other times where it looks like we just fell out of bed,” Dominguez said. “Volleyball is a game of momentum and sometimes the things we have control over we let it go and it can shift momentum. The girls will see a good set and they will want to swing away, just swing. I tell them that a point is a point and sometimes just finding the placement works best to get that point.”
Edinburg begins the second half of its district season on Tuesday at home against Edinburg Economedes. The Lady Bobcats than travel to crosstown rival Edinburg Vela for a rematch on Saturday, Oct. 8.
“We just want to be consistent and not have those little drops. We will continue to iron things out,” Dominguez said.
Dezi Marmolejo: 5 kills, 1 block, 13 aces, 35 assists, 1 dig; Marissa Arce: 16 kills, 3 aces, 14 digs, 2 assists; Elizabeth Olivarez: 2 aces, 30 digs, 1 assist; Tianna Howard: 17 kills, 1 block, 2 aces, 4 digs; Natalie Martinez: 8 kills, 4 blocks, 2 digs; Maria Reyes: 20 digs, 6 kills; Renee Ponce: 5 assists, 2 digs, 1 kill, 2 aces; Lorissa Gonzalez: 4 digs; Brianna Sanchez: 1 kill, 1 block.