The Falcons’ volleyball team will travel to A.C. Reynolds tomorrow to take on the undefeated Rockets. Reynolds, ranked eighth in the state, sits atop the Western Mountain Athletic Conference (WMAC), with the Falcons, ranked 4th in the state, coming in a close second.
Reynolds (19-0) handed the Falcons (22-2) one of their only two losses earlier in the season in a home matchup, winning 3-0. However, West will come to this game with plenty of momentum and high hopes for a win after a nine game winning streak, most recently defeating Tuscola, 3-0.
This highly anticipated matchup bears high stakes for both teams, with conference as well as playoff seeding at risk for the Falcons and Rockets. A win means a possible overtake for first place in the WMAC, but a loss gives North Buncombe, sitting third in conference play, a chance to advance to second place.
The Lady Falcons’ last matchup was definitely a nail-biter, with the first and third sets coming down to just two points, while the second set had just a five point deficit. Despite the Falcons’ painful loss, there was no sign of wavering school spirit.
“It was a great atmosphere to be in. The student section was packed and everyone knew how big of a game this was. A.C. and West were both undefeated,” senior Kaitlyn Collins said. “The excitement was through the roof.”
The Lady Falcons did not give up easily, however, fighting through fatigue and confusion of the Rockets’ defense.
“I could tell the players were tired by the third set; it was a back and forth,” assistant volleyball coach Cathy Corliss said. “The girls really gave it their all and fought until the last point was scored.”
With so much at stake, the players are excited for the opportunity to take first in conference, while also coming back from the loss against Reynolds earlier in the season.
“As a team, we’ve been very focused on this game for a long time. After our loss to Reynolds, we were immediately fired up to play them again,” said senior and outside hitter Casey Brown. “We have even more motivation for the game tomorrow.”
The previous loss to Reynolds did not sit well with the team; the players and coaches have taken steps in practice to have a better performance tomorrow.
“In practice we’ve been concentrating on correcting the little things,” Brown said. “Like closing our blocks, to elevate our game and prepare us for the tough competition we face tomorrow.”
Not only is getting a win against the competitive A.C. team important for conference standings, but winning this game is a matter of pride for the Falcons.
“Obviously our goal is to win conference, but also we want to come out and play well,” Corliss said. “ At the end of the day we want to have that good feeling of beating a great team that gave us our first loss in conference.”
According to Corliss, the key to beating the Rockets tomorrow is to maintain composure and to handle adversity.
“As long as we don’t lose our focus and energy we’ll be fine. Not every second of the game is going to go the way we plan,” Corliss said. “If our girls stay calm and adapt to the game, we’ll be in great position.”
By: Cole Braswell, Sports Editor