Fluco volleyball tops Western Albemarle in five tight games

By Duncan Nixon, Correspondent

It was a highly competitive and extremely entertaining match. Western won the first game 25-22. The Flucos bounced back to win the second game 25-20. Western went back ahead by winning game three 25-17. The Fluco were undaunted and captured the fourth game by the slimmest of margins at 25-23. In the fifth and deciding game, the Flucos were victorious 15-10. Adding up all the points scored in the five games by each team the result is Fluvanna 104 and Western Albemarle 103.

In the first game of the match, it was obvious that these teams were likely to have a serious battle to the end. The score seesawed back and forth, with neither team able to break into a significant lead. In fact, the final margin of three points was the largest lead of the game. At one point, the Flucos ran off three impressive points with kill shots by freshman Khamare Steppe and senior Katie Morris to move from down one to up 16-14. However, The Warriors finished strong, outscoring the Flucos 11-6 from that point on.

In the second game, the Flucos rushed to a 5-1 lead with senior Christina Walker contributing a kill shot and a service ace. Western Albemarle fought back to tie the score at 13-13, and surged ahead at 19-17. At that point, Fluco Coach Christi Harlowe-Garrett called a time out. The time out seemed to do the trick, as the Flucos rallied to score three points in a row for a 20-19 lead and went on to a 25-20 final score. The Flucos outscored the Warriors 8-1 after the time out.

The third game of the match was the least competitive. The Warriors scored early and often to lead 6-1 and then 16-4. The Flucos battled to get back into the game, outscoring the Warriors 13-9 in the final 22 points, but an early 12-point deficit was too much to overcome.

The fourth game was much like the first, as neither team was able to open up a lead early in the game. With the score tied 15-15, the Flucos went on a three-point run, and then opened up a five-point lead at 22-17. Western bounced back with three straight points and Harlowe-Garrett called a time out. With the score tied at 23-23, the Warriors need two points to win the match. However, those two points were gained by the Flucos instead to send the match to a fifth and deciding game. Steppe made it 24-23 with a thunderous kill shot and Evynne Stafford, the team’s junior libero, served an ace for the 25-23 win.

When a match goes to five games, the fifth game is played to 15 points, not to 25. The deciding game opened with a decisive kill shot by Walker. Junior Sydney Crawford scored with a block at the net for the Flucos to take a 3-0 lead. Katie Morris had a kill shot for a 5-2 lead. Steppe had another powerful kill shot for an 8-6 lead and Crawford followed with a service ace. The Warriors scored three in a row to tie the game at 9-9. Harlowe-Garrett called time out. Again, the time out seemed to work. Steppe scored on a block at the net, Morris had a service ace, Steppe scored on a kill, and the Flucos were up by 12-9 and only needed three more points. Western called time out. The ensuing point was won by the Flucos when Western hit the ball out of bounds after an extremely long and exciting rally. Walker had a kill shot to put the Flucos within a point of the win. Stafford’s serve hit the top of the net and rolled over for an ace and the Flucos had the win.

After the game, Harlowe-Garrett said that she feels her players are really starting to come together and are developing good team chemistry. She noted that all of her players got into this match despite its extremely tight scores.

The match was long with a lot of points scored, so the statistics were impressive. Walker had 15 kills and Steppe had 11 kills. Having two players with double figures in kill shots is impressive. Sophomore Lindsay Ward, whose job is to set up the kill shots, had 31 assists. Stafford, whose job it is to dig out the other team’s attempted kill shots, had 26 digs.

The Flucos traveled to Louisa and Monticello High Sept. 27 and Oct. 2 respectively. They will be at home Oct. 4 hosting Orange County. On Oct. 9 and Oct. 11 they travel to Charlottesville and Powhatan.

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