The East Marion volleyball team started its season behind the 8-ball with no non-district contests leading up to its district schedule, but the Eagles are beginning to resemble the dominant teams of years past.
The Eagles (3-1, 2-1) didn’t get to play a non-district schedule and subsequently lost their first district game since 2016 in their season opener Aug. 19 at Columbia. They rebounded with a solid win over West Marion the next day, but it wasn’t until Aug. 22 at home against Lawrence County that the Eagles started to exert their will.
East Marion disposed of Lawrence County with ease, sweeping the Cougars 25-8, 25-3 and 25-11. Lia Smith and Kaitlyn Echols paced the Eagles at the net with four kills each, but it was East Marion’s serving that made the match so lopsided.
Azariyah Magee (nine) and Smith (eight) spearheaded a 30-ace performance that left the Cougars listless. Senior Hope Cook kept East Marion on track on both sides of the ball, leading the team with six assists and six digs.
The Eagles had a harder time beating Salem Tuesday at home but outlasted the Wildcats three sets to one. East Marion took the first set 25-19, dropped the second 25-16 and rallied to take sets three and four 25-19 and 25-15, respectively.
East Marion played host to Jeff Davis County in a district match Thursday night, but results were unavailable at press time. The Eagles will head to Amite County Tuesday before returning home to host Hazlehurst Thursday.
Head coach Mandell Echols could not be reached for comment.