Fluco volleyball squad hit by turnaround loses 3-2 in playoffs

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluco volleyball squad hosted Spotswood High on Nov. 2 in the opening round of the 3C volleyball play-offs. The Flucos got off to a strong start and it looked like they might have an easy time. Fluvanna won the first game by a convincing score of 25-11. In the second game, the Spotswood Blazers started to look more competitive, but the Flucos prevailed again 25-18. The third game of the match was a huge battle and with the score tied at 25-25, the Blazers managed to win two points in a row for a 27-25 victory. In the fourth game, the Blazers jumped into an early lead and the Flucos battled back, but ultimately fell 25-18. Since the teams split the first four games a final fifth game was in order and this game is played only to 15 points, win by two.

In the deciding contest, the Blazers again ran out to an early lead, but the Flucos came back strong to tie the game at 11-11, scoring their tying point on a block at the net by senior Khania Brassfield. The Blazers called time-out and came back to win the next four points for a 15-11 win. Unfortunately for the Flucos, who are coached by Christi Harlow-Garrett, a play-off loss ends the season.

In the first game of the match, the Fluco front line of Brassfield, senior Sophia Denby and junior Kayla Gentry appeared to be simply too powerful for the Blazers to handle.  However, as the contest progressed, Coach Harlow-Garrett noted the Blazers got more comfortable and started to find openings in the Fluco defense. They also started blocking more effectively at the net to fend off some of the Flucos kill shots. Another factor may have been a Blazer injury. Late in the second game, their libero made a diving dig and injured her elbow. She did not return. This may have charged up the Blazers as they outscored the Flucos from that point on. Because the first game was a lopsided Fluco victory, Fluvanna actually scored eight more points than Spotswood on the night. But, Spotswood was able to gain three wins.

It was a long contest with a very high number of points recorded. As a result, the Flucos posted some very impressive statistics. Denby, who is the number one front line player for the Flucos, recorded a very impressive 20 kill shots. She was also voted Homecoming queen and was honored as such at the Homecoming football game. Gentry also had an outstanding game. She recorded 13 kill shots, had four blocks at the net and served five aces. Brassfield had six kills and four blocks at the net. The Flucos’ primary setter is junior Faith Shields. She had a very impressive 40 assists. She also chipped in with two kills, 18 digs and two aces. Sophomore Isabell Garrett had six kill shots,15 digs, two blocks and an ace. Junior Shelby Crawford contributed five kills, three blocks, six digs and an ace. Last, but certainly not least, freshman libero Jillian Davis had 25 digs for the Flucos.

Coach Harlow-Garrett, who has had a very impressive record at Fluvanna High, will be losing four seniors including two strong front-line players in Denby and Brassfield, but she has a strong returning contingent from a team that recorded 18 wins.

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