There was something new and something familiar in Monday’s volleyball match at Franklin County.
The Lady Flyers, playing at home, fell behind early, something they’ve been prone to do this season.
That led to a five-set match, the first of the season for FCHS.
“I don’t think we did anything pretty, but we still won,” said Franklin County coach Wesley Vance after the Lady Flyers defeated Shelby County 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 15-11.
“If we can win ugly, winning pretty should be a whole lot nicer,” Vance said. “We’ve done this all year. We find ways to win. We put ourselves in a tough situation early, but we usually find a way to climb out of it.”
After losing the first game to the Lady Rockets, FCHS found itself in a tight matchup in the second game.
The Lady Flyers were clinging to a two-point lead, 15-13, when Ashleigh Luebbers served for three straight points and an 18-13 lead.
FCHS’ advantage stayed between two and five points the rest of the way.
The third game was much the same, close all the way through, but the Lady Rockets took charge of the fourth game. Falling behind 4-1 early, they rallied for a nine-point lead at 18-9.
SCHS’ advantage was still nine points, 22-13, when Lauren Colston served for the Lady Flyers. Behind Colston’s serve Franklin County scored nine straight points and pulled within a point at 22-21.
“I’ve been able to place the ball when I’m serving,” Colston said. “I’ve been picking the zone and picking out the player I want to serve to over the last four games.”
The score was 23-21 after the sideout, and Shelby County’s Ariana Jones served out to win the game and force a fifth game.
“It was tiring,” Colston said of playing five games. “It’s hot in here, and it’s hard to catch your breath.
“I was a little worried. We were a little tired, a little dead. We needed to pick up the energy and I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to. But I have faith in my teammates and they picked up the energy like I know they can.”
FCHS was leading 12-10 in the last game when Cara Steitz served for two straight points and a 14-10 advantage.
The score was 14-11 when Shelby got the ball back on a sideout, but the Lady Rockets had a hit that went into the net and won the match for Franklin County.
The Lady Flyers are now 8-4 despite not having their full team for any match this season.
“We’ve got some sickness going around,” Vance said. “Lauren filled in for Lily Baker at setter, so we had a little different lineup. Taylor Blackwell had her first full night back. She’s been bothered by a shoulder injury, and this was the first night she played the front row.”
Vance said any problems his team had Monday night weren’t from lack of trying.
“It wasn’t effort but losing focus at certain times,” he said. “Shelby County is an aggressive team, very athletic. That’s something we need to work on, being aggressive at the net. On tough plays at the net we can be tentative and let the other team get the ball before we do.”
The Lady Flyers won’t have much practice time to work on that this week. They play at Collins tonight, host Woodford County in a district match Thursday, and play in a tournament Friday and Saturday hosted by Lafayette at KBA in Lexington.
“This gives us a lot of confidence,” Colston said about Monday’s win. “We have six seniors on our team and a lot of underclassmen. This will give us a lot of confidence, that we can go and figure out different ways to win.”
nThursday’s game against Woodford County will be Junior High Spirit Night. Junior high students, both boys and girls, from Elkhorn Middle, Good Shepherd and Frankfort Christian Academy will receive free admission if they are wearing a shirt with their school’s name on it.
There will be three matches – freshman, junior varsity and varsity – starting at 5:30 p.m.