On Oct.18, the Maclay Lady Marauders varsity volleyball team traveled to Penscola to play a district game against the Pensacola Catholic Crusaders. This game was the district semifinal game and in most cases, it was a win or go home situation. With the Lady Marauders losing the game 3-0, the Lady Marauders thought their 2022 season had come to an end. However, they finished third overall in their district and received a bid. A bid allows them to advance to the regional quarterfinals even though they lost. 

The Lady Marauders came into the second round of districts with confidence after their district quarterfinal win against Walton. The first set had begun and senior Olivia Greenberg spiked the ball down with authority. The teams were going back and forth throughout the set. Maclay then missed a few serves causing the Crusaders to be in the lead. With a close battle leading up until the end, the first set finished with a score of 25-18 and the Crusaders started with a 1-0 advantage. 

“I feel like we played really well throughout the season,” junior Katelyn Eldred said. “We had a couple of tough losses, but we definitely fought through all of them and had a really good season.” 

As the second set began, Pensacola Catholic’s spike attempt was blocked by junior Abbie Hartmann to gain a point for the Lady Marauders. Following the strong start, many errors made by the Lady Marauders had them trailing behind the Crusaders. As the Lady Marauders trailed, Eldred helped give the Lady Marauders a fighting chance with her precise set ups. Although the Lady Marauders gained some momentum, they could only bring the score within 10 points and Pensacola Catholic gained another set victory with a score of 25-15.

“I feel that I played really well, especially my blocking was very on point,” Hartmann said.

The Crusaders were just one set away from winning the second round of districts and advancing on to the district finals when the third set began. In desperation, the Maclay defense began to intensify. The Lady Marauders kept the score closer than the previous sets. With a true back and forth contest, the Crusaders still ended up taking their third victory of the game with a score of 25-19. 

“I felt like they had a good season filled with ups and downs just like any other season,” head coach Daijah Washington said. “They overcame a lot as a team and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Their record is now 14-10 with one more chance to stay in the playoffs. They play Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville on Oct. 25.