VolleyballIn a high school volleyball match, a team must win three games to prevail. Most matches end 3-0 or 3-1. It is unusual for teams to be so evenly matched that a fifth and deciding game is required. On Tuesday (Oct. 3) the Fluco volleyball team fought hard against a tough opponent to force a fifth game, but ultimately lost 3-2 to Albemarle.

The Patriots from Albemarle won games two and three relatively easily. However, the Flying Flucos did not fade away. In the first game of the match, the Patriots led 24-18 with the serve and seemingly had game one locked up. However, Albemarle lost the point on its serve making the score 24-19. Evynne Stafford took over serve for the Flucos and they ran off five points in a row to tie the score at 24-24. Christina Walker had two impressive kill shots at the net in this five-point run. Albemarle finally broke serve to go ahead 25-24.  Fluco Coach Christi Harlowe-Garrett called timeout.

After the timeout, another Walker kill shot tied the score. Walker took the serve and fired an ace to give the Flucos a one-point lead. Albemarle scored on Walker’s second serve and it was tied again. Albemarle’s serve was into the net and the Flucos were up by one again. Delaney Reed took over serve for Fluvanna and fired an ace for a 28-26 win. It was an impressive comeback win for the Flucos in game one.In game two, after 23 points, the Flucos trailed by only one at 11-12, but Albemarle followed with a four-point run and a five-point run. The Flucos trailed 14-21 when Albemarle ran off another four points in a row to win game two 25-14. Albemarle ended the game with an impressive 13-3 advantage in the final 16 points. Game three was much like game two. After 16 points the score was 8-8. From that point on the Flucos were outscored 5-17. The final score was 14-25, giving the Patriots a 2-1 lead in games and it looked like the Flucos just did not have enough fire power to compete, despite their impressive first game win.

Game four started with the teams even again. After 16 points, it was again 8-8. This time it was the Flucos who inched out ahead, moving to a 15-11 lead on a kill shot by Madison Stultz.  Libero Candice Shaheed scored two points on serve to take the Flucos to an 18-14 lead. A service ace by Katie Morris gave the Flucos a 20-16 lead. Two successful serves by Walker made it 24-20. Albemarle scored the next three points to close to 24-23. A Fluco shot at the net deflected off a defenders’ hand and the winning point went to Fluvanna. The Flucos now had two two-point wins for a tie match at two games apiece. A final fifth game was required to settle the match. This deciding game is played to 15, win by two.

Game five opened in the Flucos’ favor. Abby Sherman scored three service points and Morris had two service points, one on a kill shot by Walker, so the Flucos led 6-2. Albemarle bounced back with two points to make it 6-4. The Patriots tightened the score to 8-7 and Harlowe-Garrett called timeout. A kill shot by Walker made it 9-7 for the Flucos. Albemarle tied it at 9-9. Sherman had a kill shot to put the Flucos ahead 10-9. That was the Flucos’ last lead. The Patriots scored five in a row to go ahead 14-10. The Flucos scored twice to tighten the score, but Albemarle got the final point it needed to win game five 15-12.

After the game, Harlowe-Garrett noted that Albemarle was a very strong team and that she was very pleased with how her squad “hung in there and fought to the end.” The Albemarle team was taller and had more kill shot experts than Fluvanna, but Fluvanna held its own extremely well. Walker led the way with nine kill shots and four blocks. Sherman contributed seven kill shots, while Morris recorded three service aces.

After this match, the schedule shows eight more regular season matches. On Oct. 5 the Flucos traveled to Western Albemarle. On Oct. 10 they hosted Louisa County. On Oct. 12 they host Monticello High. On Oct. 17 they travel to Orange County and then on Oct. 19 they host Charlottesville High.