The Lady Owls got it, although it wasn't reflected in the final margin of their 8-1 non-conference victory.
"Grain Valley hit the ball hard and we had good rallies," MHS head coach Susan Carney remarked. "We were able to be strong under hot conditions and when the matches were long."
Sophomore Molly Evans and senior Stephanie Markes got Marshall rolling with 8-3 wins in the top two singles spots, followed by an 8-5 decision from freshman Taylor Crawford over a Lady Eagle senior and another 8-3 victory for junior Payton Beeler.
Grain Valley (1-1), which was coming off a 9-0 shutout of Harrisonville, got its only win at No. 5 singles -- and even that was a struggle, as sophomore Hannah Wiechmann was pushed to overtime by junior Amanda Harrelson before pulling the match out, 9-8 (7-4).
Junior Idalia Aguilar gave the Lady Owls a 5-1 lead with an 8-5 win at No. 6.
Evans and Markes were challenged in the No. 1 doubles match by junior Natalia Barr and senior Mariah Hernandez before coming out on top, 8-6. Crawford and Beeler won their No. 2 contest, 8-3, and Harrelson and Aguilar beat their foe at No. 3, 8-4.
"The varsity has moved up a lot, losing the top four strong girls we had last year, and they are handling it well," Carney said. "I'm pleased with all their progress."
The Marshall junior varsity also notched an 8-1 victory, as all 26 girls on the team saw action.
Carney expects an even tougher match to come for the Lady Owls (3-0) during Thursday's home opener, when Chillicothe brings back a veteran team which returned five of its top six players.
"I'm looking forward to see our team play them," she declared.