Lady Jays volleyball starts each season off with a tough test.

For the last eight seasons, that’s been Marquette. The Lady Mustangs won that season-opening contest for the eighth year in a row Friday at Blue Jay Gym, 25-17, 25-22.

The early challenge has led to Washington winning a minimum of 15 games each season during that time frame. The Lady Jays have had six consecutive seasons with 19 or more wins.

“I thought we played a good, hard fought game,” Washington Head Coach Susan Harms said. “Kassidy Phillips had 11 kills on the night. Our defense played very well. Cierstyn Jacquin, Morgan Gratza, Josie Collier and Kassidy passed the ball well off the serve and their attacks.”

Phillips’ 11 kills were a team high and she recorded the team’s only block.

Abby Redd knocked down three kills, Josie Obermark two, Jackie Oetterer two and Hallie Giesike one.

Oetterer posted 18 assists and Collier one.

Morgan Gratza and Jacquin each served an ace.

Gratza led the defense with 16 digs.

Jacquin and Phillips made seven digs each, Collier five, Oetterer four, Emma Duncan one and Josie Obermark one.

Marquette, which has posted a minimum of 19 wins each of the past four seasons, was led by nine kills from Jenna Gruender.

“Marquette has a good team,” Harms said. “They had two big hitters who dominated the first game, however I felt we kept them in check the second game. Jackie Oetterer, setter, did a good job running the offense. Abby Redd and Josie Obermark also played a good game at the net.”

Other kill totals for Marquette included Madilyn Sell (five), Adison Davidson (four), Taylor Donatelli (three), Olivia Meier (two), Alexa Rush (one) and Kathryn Toepke (one).

The Lady Mustangs totaled 10 blocks — three by Sell, two each by Gruender and Toepke and one each by Davidson, Donatelli and Meier.

Meier recorded 20 assists, Harmon Trinity three, Rush one and Courtney Schultheiss one.

Washington opened Gateway Athletic Conference Central play Tuesday at home against Timberland. The team next plays Thursday at Ft. Zumwalt South at 5 p.m.