Illness, injury too much for Lady Flyers to overcome

By EMILY PATTON/ Published:

They did what they could with what they had.

That’s how Franklin County’s head coach Wesley Vance described the Lady Flyers’ 3-1 (15-25, 26-24, 19-25, 18-25) loss against Woodford Co. at home on Thursday night. 

The Lady Flyers (9-5) were so riddled with ill players that hand sanitizer was passed back and forth across their bench and in a scorching hot gymnasium, girls wore jackets over their jerseys during timeouts.

“We have so many girls sick,” Vance said. “We had players playing different positions. Lauren Colston played two or three different positions tonight.”

The Lady Flyers are also beaten up in other ways, like senior Marybeth Mucci. In Tuesday’s night game against Collins, she slid across the floor and cut her back open. Vance said he noticed a spot of blood on her jersey. During the second set against Woodford (6-6), Mucci’s jersey became stained in red once again

Play was stopped on the floor, because athletes aren’t allowed to continue playing with blood on their clothing. Mucci, who normally wears the No. 1, was given a new No. 9 jersey. The time that lapsed while waiting for Mucci’s return worked in FCHS’ favor. After winning the first set 25-15, Woodford got out of sync. 

“We played like a team and brought it back,” Mucci said. 

The Lady Flyers, who were down five when Mucci left, came back quickly to tie the game seven all and eventually win the second set 26-24. 

“They’re a good team,” Vance said. “In the first game, they outsmarted us. Outsmarted me. I don’t think they hit a ball. They tipped everything and it took us a long time to pick it up. Once we picked up on it, it was back and forth.”

The third set saw 11 ties, before illness plagued the Lady Flyers again. Woodford broke away to win the third by six points. During the fourth set, FCHS trailed early and never recovered. The Lady Yellowjackets would win by seven.

“Our whole JV team is knocked out sick,” Mucci said. “One of our setters had to leave early sick. I don’t know what it is, but we are just trying to stay healthy.

“I think with half of us being sick and having to adjust to the three out of five games, we did a pretty good job of sticking with them.”

Vance agreed and said hopes to get his team healthy fast for the Thoroughbred Smash volleyball tournament tonight against strong Lexington teams. 

“If we had been full physically, it may have gone three games on our side,” he said. “We have the abilities, we have the capabilities, we have the talent, we just didn’t have it tonight.”

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