New season, new faces, good start.
Franklin County’s volleyball team opened its season at home Monday with a victory, beating Owen County 25-20, 25-12.
The Lady Flyers have five seniors on this year’s team — Lily Baker, Taylor Blackwell, Autumn Ferrell, Jennifer Lee and Kelsey Young — but they have several new faces, too.
“We’ve lost 11 players over the last two years,” FCHS coach Wesley Vance said. “We’ve got some experienced players. We just need to fill in the gaps with kids who haven’t played varsity before.
“They’re learning about the pace, how fast the ball can move at this level. We have our own pace of play. We can play fast — pass it and boom — but if the other team goes with something soft, we want to go at that pace.”
Monday’s first game was close throughout.
FCHS led by two points, 17-15, and extended the advantage to four points twice later in the match before winning 25-20.
The second game was back and forth in the early stages and tied at 11-11. That’s when Ferrell served for five straight points as the Lady Flyers took a 16-12 lead.
With the score 17-12, Baker served for eight straight points and the victory.
“They’re learning,” Vance said of his team. “Even the experienced girls are getting comfortable with a lot of new people playing beside them.
“Caitlyn Hardin is starting. She’s a sophomore with one school season and one club season of experience. Chandler Kelly is a sophomore, and she adds a nice piece of thunder, for lack of a better term. She can be thunderous when she hits the ball.”
It’s been passing and attack the Lady Flyers have been working on lately.
“As long as you get the serve in it’s receive, pass and hit,” Vance said. “Over the last two years, every girl we’ve lost out of those 11 could pass.
“We’re doing a lot of passing, and they’re doing a good job. We’re working on harder attacks. The younger ones, when a match gets tight, try to play pitty-pat around the net, and we’ve got to get off that.”
FCHS plays in a tri-match Saturday at West Jessamine against WJHS and Lexington Christian.
“I’m anxious to see how far they come this season,” Vance said. “I don’t think they know it, but they’ve gotten better since the preseason.”