Falcons Fall In VCC Semifinals

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BLACKSTONE – The Fuqua School volleyball team entered last week's VCC Tournament as one of the league's hottest teams. The Falcons won seven of their final nine games, which included a victory over previously unbeaten Tidewater Academy. There was no sneaking up on the Warriors in Thursday's semifinal match, won by TA 3-0 (25-13, 25-12, 25-14).

“I think it was a combination of us making some careless mistakes and them being ready for us,” said FS head coach Lora Smith. “Maybe we pulled at Superman's cape a little too hard, because Tidewater played very well.

“I think we worked hard, but not as a team, and when we needed to bring it together, we weren't able to do so.”

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A hard smack by Taylor Schmidt pulled the Falcons to within five points at 15-10 in the first set, but TA would rattle off five of the next six points to take a 20-11 lead. A kill by Heather Hicks stopped the Warriors' momentum briefly, but only delayed the victory by the tournament's top seeds.

Fuqua fell behind in the second set, and trailed 11-3, before clawing back into the match. The Falcons pulled to within three, before a Tidewater time out. The one minute break in momentum cooled Fuqua's run. TA started a run of its own and didn't let up, as the Warriors scored the final ten points of the set.

Kills by Hicks and Caroline Wiles early in the third set helped the Falcons stay close, but the Warriors went on another sizeable run to take a 20-6 lead. A block by Caroline Bryant and a kill by Taylor Frink helped to pick up the Falcons, but the deficit was too great for any serious rally to make a big difference in the final score.

“Tidewater had more to lose,” said Smith. “They are playing for a bid to the state tournament. We knew that. The pressure was on them, and they didn't let it get to them.”

Hicks tallied eight kills, ten points and an ace, while Wiles and Bryant had two blocks apiece. Chelsea Dandridge had seven points and three kills.

“We didn't do very well scoring our own points. Many of our points came off of their errors, and they didn't make many of them.”

The Falcons wrap up a season that started off way off of their preseason goals. However, Smith did like her team's will to stick together.

“We rallied down the stretch and finished fourth in the conference and fourth in the tournament. I am proud of the way we rallied around each other to have a pretty good season. They never gave up, and we were a lot better at the end of the season than we were at the beginning, and that's really all you can ask.”