Fluco volleyball team suffers first loss in marathon match

By Duncan Nixon

It was one of those matches were neither team deserved to lose, but except for soccer, there is always a winner and a loser. The Fluco volleyball squad came into their match with the Monticello Mustangs on Sept. 9 with six wins and no losses. The match started well for the Flucos. They won the first game. They pulled away from a three-point lead late in the game for a 25-17 victory. However, the Mustangs rallied and won the second game by seven points and the third game in overtime 26-24. The Flucos bounced back for a 25-17 win in the fourth game. In the deciding fifth game, which is played to 15 points, win by two, the Flucos led 13-12, but the Mustangs rallied to score the final three points for a 15-13 win. The Flucos posted 105 points in the match to 100 by the Mustangs, but the Mustangs won the match, three games to two.

The rules of volleyball now call for a point to be scored on every serve and if the serving team loses the point, the serve switches over. If one team is clearly superior, this can lead to some lobsided games, but when the competitors are evenly matched volleyball is fast, exciting and entertaining. Because the Flucos were playing neighboring Monticello High and were coming in undefeated, there was a very decent crowd on hand.

In the first game, midway through, the teams were tied at 12-12.  The Flucos nudged ahead to 16-15 and junior Brooke Napier took the serve for Fluvanna. She served for three straight points including an ace, for a 19-15 lead. Two kill shots by junior Khania Brassfield and two kill shots by senior Sophia Denby in the final stretch of the game gave the Flucos the win.

In the second game, the Mustangs burst out to a 7-2 lead early. The scoring bounced back and forth from that point on, but the Flucos were never able to get within less than four points. The Mustangs evened the match score at 1-1. It is very hard to win a volleyball match, if you fall behind one game to two, so the third game was especially intense. Neither team backed off at all. There were ties at 11-11, 13-13, 15-15, 17-17 and 19-19. Junior Kayla Gentry made a fierce kill shot to tie the score at 23-23. Freshman libero Jillian Davis then served an ace for a 24-23 Fluco lead. Unfortunately, the Mustangs managed to win the next three points for a 26-24 win.

The Fluco girls certainly did not give up. With Brassfield scoring on two blocks at the net, the Flucos ran out to a 6-1 lead. In the middle of the game, the Mustangs ran off five points and took a 13-12 lead. Denby scored with a kill shot to tie the score. Junior Faith Shields served an ace, and junior Shelby Crawford scored a kill shot to put the Flucos up by two. The Mustangs managed to retie the game at 17-17, but the Flucos finished with a kill shot barrage. Gentry had two kill shots, while Denby, Crawford and sophomore Isabelle Garrett all had one. The Flucos finished with eight straight points with Davis on service.

The final game was a classic. Denby had a kill shot to give the Fluco a 2-0 lead. Brassfield had a kill shot to tie the game at 7-7. A Gentry kill shot gave the Flucos a 10-8 lead. After a long and impressive rally, the Mustangs won the point for a 12-11 lead. Fluco Coach Christi Harlow-Garrett called a time-out. A kill shot by Denby tied the score, and a service ace by Gentry gave the Flucos the lead 13-12. Unfortunately, the Mustangs took the final three points for the win.

The Fluco piled up some impressive statistics in this game. Shields had an awesome 45 assists. Gentry recorded a very respectable 18 kill shots, while Denby had 13 kills.

The Fluco volleyball team was on the road earlier this week, with matches at Chancellor High and Orange County on Sept. 20 and 21. The Fluco host Albemarle on Sept. 23 and then play their homecoming game on Sept. 28 against the Black Knights of Charlottesville High.

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