FS Rallies To Move On In VCC Tournament

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010

FARMVILLE – Virginia Commonwealth Conference volleyball tournament, Fuqua School needed two big rallies to survive its quarterfinal round opponent Southampton Academy on Tuesday night. First, the Lady Falcons had to rally from two sets down, and in the fifth-set tiebreaker, they had to rally from 11-1 down to take the match 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 16-14).

“I think I nearly had a heart attack twice,” said FS head coach Lora Smith. “We were sloppy at the start, and Southampton played well, but we kept playing, and by the fourth set, we were playing a lot better. Anything can happen in a fifth set, and it was touch-and-go for a while.”

Midway through the third set, with Southampton leading 11-7, Smith called a time out to rally her team. In the huddle, she pleaded with her team to not look at the scoreboard, and to just concentrate on winning the next point.

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Fuqua responded to take the lead at 14-13, aided by an ace by senior setter Alison Ingram. The two teams traded the lead back and forth, before senior Jordan Berg took the serve with Fuqua ahead 21-20. She strung together a four-point run for the Lady Falcons – one of the largest of the night for Fuqua to that point – and after SA closed to within a point at 24-23, the Lady Falcons won the set when two SA players ran into one-another in the middle of the court on a free ball.

“Even the best teams get a break to fall their way from time to time,” said Smith. “The girls worked really hard to get to that point.”

With momentum back on its side, Fuqua jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set. Fuqua used an 8-0 run in the set to gain a 15-7 lead, and was able to maintain the advantage over the balance of the set. Southampton closed its deficit to 22-18, but sophomore Caroline Bryant served an ace to push the Lady Falcons to 24-18, and Jordan Berg evened the match at 2-2 with a kill.

Using an underhanded server to lead off the fifth set, Southampton was able to jump out to a 9-0 advantage, and at one point held an 11-1 lead, before Fuqua clawed back.

“We don't practice much against underhanded servers, but it was frustrating,” said Smith, “because for a while, we couldn't get a decent return.”

But with their season on the line, the Lady Falcons rallied. An ace by Tatum Davis closed the deficit to 12-7, and trailing 13-7, Berg's serves helped Fuqua complile a 7-0 run to give Fuqua a 14-13 lead.

Southampton tied the set at 14-apiece, but Fuqua scored two consecutive points – the second one coming on a Southampton pass into the net – to complete the come-from-behind victory.

“I think this says a lot about the character of the girls,” said Smith. “They didn't give up, and they kept playing hard.

“I really thought Jordan served as well as one could, given the pressure that was on her. We practice pressure serves, but you really can't simulate it. Needless to say though, she passed the test.”

Berg led the Lady Falcons with 20 kills, three aces and 12 service points. Charlotte Cave had ten kills, an ace and 11 service points. Davis had eight kills and four aces, while Bryant had four kills and four aces.

Fuqua advances to the VCC Semifinals, and was scheduled to face No. 1 seed Christchurch on Thursday at Christchurch. The winner will advance to the tournament title match on Saturday also at Christchurch.