Washington faced a challenge right off the bat to open its volleyball season.

Playing against a Marquette team that returns key players from last season’s district championship team, the Lady Jays lost last Friday's home match, 25-22, 25-13.

“We usually have tough openers. That’s always been the case and Marquette was no exception,” said Washington Head Coach Kym Blankenship. “Marquette had good size on the front row and a good attack. They had bigger kids than we did. I thought we could beat them with our ball-handling, but it didn’t work out.”

The Lady Jays (0-1) threatened to take the first game, but came up short.

“We played tougher in the first game,” Blankenship said. “Our serve receive was better than it was in the jamboree. Marquette had six serving errors in the first game and cleaned up their serve in the second game.”

Marquette (1-1) took control in the second game.

“We couldn’t put our game together in the second game,” Blankenship said. “Serve receive, setting and hitting, we had a hard time connecting it together and doing all three of those things to generate a consistent attack.”

Olivia Strode and Andrea Zoellner both had two kills in the match for Washington.

Kara Herron, Jenna Barnhart, Amanda Vollmer and Kristen Phillips each added one kill.

Erica Diener and Emily Voss both finished with six digs.

“A lot of our girls haven’t played together very much,” Blankenship said. “Hopefully the more games we play, the better we’ll become.”

Blankenship likes the potential of her team moving forward.

“It was good to get the season started and to play against a quality team like Marquette,” she said. “We have things to work on. We’ll keep working on it during practice and learn to play more as a team.”

Marquette also defeated Washington in the junior varsity and freshman matches.