Falcons Drop Volleyball Opener

Published 3:31 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

BLACKSTONE – The Fuqua School volleyball team earned a passing grade in its season opening loss on Wednesday night at Kenston Forest. Unfortunately for the Lady Falcons, it didn't mean that they achieved good marks.

Fuqua lost to their nearest Virginia Commonwealth Conference rivals 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-17).

“Our passes killed us tonight,” said Smith. “It's been a big focus for us in practice, and we've improved quite a bit from where we started, we didn't show it tonight.

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“We were either not going to balls, or we were all going to the same spot.”

Fuqua fell behind 8-2 in the first set, but chipped away at the deficit to trail 11-9, before Kenston Forest scored seven of the next nine points to take an 18-11 advantage. Fuqua closed back to within five points, but the host Kavaliers quickly squashed any idea of a Fuqua rally.

Fuqua led 10-8 in the second set following an ace by Caroline Wiles. The Kavaliers pulled ahead over the next couple of points. Fuqua seemed to halt the rally when Heather Hicks slammed a kill into the KF backcourt, but an untimely service error led to six straight points by the Kavaliers, which turned a close set into a comfortable 21-13 lead. Up 22-15, Kenston Forest closed out the second set with three straight points.

Fuqua jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third game, but was unable to sustain the solid start as the set wore on. The momentum seemed to turn on a long rally midway through that was won by Kenston Forest, which gave the Kavaliers a 17-12 lead.

Ahead 18-14, KF scored three straight points to take a 21-14 lead and cruise to the straight sets victory.

“We didn't play as well as we are capable of playing,” said Smith. “Kenston Forest had something to do with that. They keep improving, and they were able to take advantage of having already played a regular season game. They played more as a team tonight and it showed.”

The Falcons were able to overcome an early season loss at Kenston Forest last year to post a solid finish in the VCC. With seven seniors on the roster, they'll need to do the same this season.

“We know what we have to work on,” said Smith. “Sometimes you have to see it against other competition for it to sink in. We've got to continue to work on moving our feet and communicating.

“We've got to play better as a team.”

The Falcons were scheduled to travel to Richmond Christian on Thursday night, and will travel to Southampton Academy and Tidewater Academy next week, before their regular-season home opener against Amelia Academy on September 18.