MOUNT VERNON — La Conner volleyball draws an enthusiastic crowd, but Tuesday’s road match at Mount Vernon Christian attracted an especially large number of school administrators and former players.

The crowd wasn’t just watching La Conner, although the Braves turned in a sparkling performance against a hard-charging Mount Vernon Christian team.

Those watching were also waiting for a milestone.

With the 3-0 win over the Hurricanes, La Conner coach Suzanne Marble earned her 500th career victory.

Justine Benson was 13-of-13 serving with 35 assists, Ellie Marble had 22 kills and Joanie Benson was 17-of-18 serving as the Braves won 25-8, 25-9, 25-13.

Morgan Herrera was 18-of-18 serving for the Braves.

Rachel Cram added 12 digs, and Katie Watkins had five kills and two blocks.

“We connected. ... No matter who came in, it worked,” Ellie Marble said.

Joanie Benson said, “Everyone brought the same amount of energy, no matter who was on the court.”

Mount Vernon Christian honored Marble’s milestone. She’s in her 27th year coaching the Braves and has guided the team to four state titles, including last year’s Class 2B crown.

She said she was moved by the Hurricanes’ sportsmanship.

Marble also said the achievement isn’t hers alone, but also belongs to the administrators, supporters, players and coaches who have helped build the program, which is 500-93 since she took the reins.

Among them, she said, is assistant Pam Keller, whose junior varsity teams haven’t lost a league game in her 19 years with the program.

“(She’s) a huge reason for all this,” Marble said.

Marble said she was thrilled to see so many familiar faces in the stands.

“We always say we’re not doing this alone,” she said. “It was really a celebration of everything. I love bringing everyone together.”


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