The Franklin-Simpson Lady Cats' volleyball team split a pair of home matches as they are preparing to host and compete in the upcoming 13th District Tournament on Tuesday night Oct. 22.
Franklin-Simpson 2 Butler County 1
It was a grueling three set affair but a complete team victory for the Lady Cats as they still have a couple of players out with illness or injuries.
Franklin-Simpson scored on 36 unforced errors with 12 aces, three each from seniors Meadow Hall and Rylie Spears and junior Fantasia Suggs and two blocks, 1.5 by senior Shelby Johnston. Senior Maddie Squires provided a free ball with 16 kills with five each from seniors Cassidy Eversole and Johnston and four touches with three by junior Carly Bush.
"It was wonderful and exciting to see us work together as one team," Hall said. "We had wonderful passes to attack and communicating. Beautiful to watch and play. We were able to come together and adapt and if you are truly able to do that, that's when you truly are a team."
"Our energy level was up tonight, way up," Spears said. "We have some girls that merges things they do together well and without Alera (Barbee) and Erica (Stradtner) out there tonight," When someone got down on themselves, we all did what we could to bring them back up. We just concentrated on the next play and just forget about the last one."
In the 1st set, Lady Cats trailed early but Spears got four points off her serve with three aces. Squires served two aces and scored five points in a row. They scored 16 points off unforced errors but with kills from: Bush, Eversole and Suggs to win the set 25-17.
Franklin-Simpson jumped out to an early lead in the 2nd set with Johnston getting two kills, a touch and a shared block with Bush. The lead changed hands three times as Butler County took the lead for good halfway through the set. Hall had two aces with five total kills, three from Eversole and two from Johnston, was not enough as the Lady Bears forced a decisive third set with the 25-21 win.
The Lady Cats were aggressive and took a lead as high as nine points, 15-6. Butler County closed their deficit down to four at 19-15 but Franklin-Simpson scored with a free ball from Squires with Bush's kill and touch and Johnston ended the game with one of her three kills as Franklin-Simpson won the 3rd set 25-22 an the match 2-1.
"We worked together as a team tonight," Shelby Johnston said. "Everybody did a good job and we was covering each other. We had to work hard for this win. When someone got down on themselves, we all did what we could to bring them back up. We just concentrated on the next play and just forget about the last one."
"It's been a while since we worked this well together and we had fun doing so by having a great game overall," Carly Bush said. "We worked on our serves before the game. It was a lot of hard work but it paid off in the end. Our serves definitely won this game tonight."
Bowling Green 2
It was "pink out" night to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Lady Cats didn't have a cure for the Lady Purples' service game in the match. In the 1st set, Johnston served two aces along with a touch and a kill as junior Alera Barbee and Bush. Bowling Green's service game went on scoring runs as Makenna Twyman had 11 straight service points and freshman Elizabeth Maglinger served for seven straight points that closed out the set for the 25-8 win.
Lady Purples' sophomore Brenner Phelps scored on five straight service points as their scoring run on serves continued. The Lady Cats only got six points on unforced errors, eight for the entire match. But got points from a block and a kill by Barbee with Johnston providing a block and a free ball along with Bush and Eversole as Bowling Green won the 2nd set 25-12 and the match 2-0.
"The energy and vibe was great for this special night. It was right where I wanted it to be," Lady Cats head coach Megan Vincent said. "We struggled tonight in our serve receive and they had some dominant servers that was very consistent. If we can stop these runs by the other team's serves, we could win a lot of these close sets that we are losing but overall, I'm proud of our performance but we missed opportunities on our serves and we couldn't stop their runs."
"Our serves was really good tonight," Lady Purples head coach Amy Wininger said. "We've been working on being consistent and clean. It was good to see that we got some service runs in this game tonight. Franklin-Simpson is very athletic and well coached and it was an honor to be here on "Pink Out Night."
The Lady Cats' final home regular season match of the season is next Thursday, Oct. 17 when they host the Allen County-Scottsville Lady Patriots for Senior Night at the F-S Gym.