By James Harper

Killeen Daily Herald

The thorn in the side of the Lady Eagles hasn't been the opposition as much as the team itself this season.

Despite playing with a lot of energy Tuesday, the Ellison Lady Eagles fell in four games to the visiting Marble Falls Lady Mustangs 27-25, 28-30, 25-19, 25-22.

"We're working on our communication during practice and we have improved, it's just practicing and learning for the setters and hitters," said senior outside hitter Megan McKinnon.

Ellison committed numerous unforced errors that allowed Marble Falls to steal momentum at key points in the match.

In the first game, having clawed back and taken the lead 24-22, the Lady Eagles committed three errors that handed the game to the Lady 'Stangs, 27-25.

The second game went back and forth, with the Lady Eagles eventually taking the match by two.

McKinnon scored three early points to keep Ellison in the match, 5-4. Chelsea Grant then came up with a block when the Lady Eagles were down 15-14 to tie it.

McKinnon added a kill to again tie the match, at 26-26, and Grant added another block to close the game at 30-28.

However, Ellison nearly squandered the effort by tallying 12 unforced errors. The most frequent being the inability to capitalize on open kills, hitting into the net.

Ellison dug itself a hole early in Game 3, losing 25-19.

Unforced errors, again, handed the Lady 'Stangs the game and a 2-1 lead in the match.

With Ellison losing 6-4 in game three, Marble Falls took control by scoring nine of the next 12 points, putting the game away.

Things took a turn for the weird during the fourth and final game when a junior varsity player from Marble Falls tripped and fell onto the court while walking on the bleachers.

The accident caused a delay of a few minutes while everything was sorted out.

Unfortunately, Ellison had just fought back and tied the game at 15-15 from being down 10-3 when the incident occurred.

"It was weird, but I don't think the incident had any effect on our girls," Ellison coach William De Gracia said.

However, it was hard not to notice a swing in momentum after the break.

Rather than continue their torrid pace, the Lady Eagles began to trade points with the Lady 'Stangs until they finally fell 25-22.

Kortni Taylor led Ellison with 14 kills in the loss, while Chelsea Grant and Megan McKinnon added 13 each. Malaysia Hope was all over the court, dishing out 31 assists and recent JV call-up Savannah Laris added seven kills, assisted in a few blocks and led the squad with three aces during the match. Jazmine German led the team with seven digs.

"It's good to get excited and play with energy, but we can't dwell on the mistakes," De Gracia said.

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