Volleyball: Best under pressure

Lady Flyers rally again and again to beat George Rogers Clark

By Emily Patton Published:

The Lady Flyers volleyball team likes playing under pressure. In fact, tense situations are where they play best.

Franklin County head coach Wesley Vance said Wednesday night was no different as the Lady Flyers defeated George Rogers Clark 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 28-26) in front of its home crowd.

“That seems to be how we like to play,” Vance said. “I don’t like it. They like it apparently. They like the pressure. They do well under pressure. They respond to it and they respond to me getting on them and they’re responding well. Last year, they may not have done as well. But this year, they’re doing a very good job of figuring out what we have to do to win.”

The Lady Flyers’ high-pressure situation style of volleyball started early Wednesday when Vance said the girls slowed down their normal fast-paced play.

“We like to play faster paced than Clark,” he said. “It kind of took us out of our rhythm. We started dozing and our minds started wandering. It was a lackadaisical mindset on the game. 

“If we stay focused and play our game, we’re a really good team.” 

In the first game, FCHS (7-4) pulled ahead with a seven-point lead, but let the Lady Cardinals (2-3) answer back within three before they responded by scoring seven consecutive unanswered points. The Lady Flyers won the first game 25-13.

FCHS and the Lady Cardinals traded the lead four times in the beginning of the second game before service aces by senior Lauren Colston solidified a 25-16 victory. 

But it was the third and final set where the Lady Flyers “played their game,” Vance said. FCHS began five points down, but fought back to tie the game 10 all. Senior Marybeth Mucci hit two back-to-back kills to give the Lady Flyers the lead. Mucci’s service aces gave FCHS as much as a seven-point lead at 19-12, until the team hit a wall.

The Lady Cardinals started chipping away at the score with the momentum suddenly shifting in their favor. GRC tied the score four times before a kill by FCHS’ junior Ashleigh Luebbers and a costly Lady Cardinal error ended the game 28-26. 

“We were out of it, then in it, out of it again, then when push came to shove, they got back into it,” Vance said. “We can be our own worst enemy and put ourselves in some bad situations but we find ways to win.”

The win came after a 1-2 loss to Scott County at home the night before.

“We lost one last night that we probably should’ve won,” Vance said. “That would have made us really nice, but we’ve matched the win total (seven wins) from last year, a third of the way through the season. We’re in good shape.”

Next up, FCHS will play Shelby County Monday at home.

“Our defense has been playing great,” Vance said. “Hitting wise, we’re getting smarter. We don’t care how the ball gets over the net, as long as it hits the floor.”

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