One mark of a good team is how well it responds when the opposition deals it a body blow. Fluvanna County countered well Tuesday night in a 3-1 victory over Western Albemarle.
“Western started finding some holes in our defense and we paid the price for not adjusting in game three,” said Fluvanna coach Christi Harlowe-Garrett. “In game four we started adjusting. We shifted a little bit what we were doing and we were able to control the momentum a little bit better than we were in the third game.”
In game four the Flucos closed the door, with an emphatic Maddy Kline kill — one of her 17 on the night — finishing a 25-22 match-clinching win. Kline and Leslie Walters continued to prove why their one of the area’s best one-two punches at the net, with Walters adding another 10 kills and six total blocks against the Warriors.
The Flucos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match with a tremendous Lee Lee Robbins run at the service line boosting Fluvanna to its victory in game one. Robbins had an ace during the run and her placement made it particularly difficult for Western, who was already trailing, to claw back into the game as Fluvanna pulled away to a 25-18 win.
“(Robbins) has been working on her serve and obviously that came up big for us tonight,” Harlowe-Garrett said.
Fluvanna then cruised in the second game, winning 25-15 to take control of the match. That’s about the time Western seemed to wake up and the Warriors’ offense started clicking. Keller Whitlock exploded for nine kills and registered just a single error on her 14 swings on the night. She was critical to the game three run that kept Western alive. Kelsey Grove also had a monster night with a team-high of 11 kills while also coming up with 15 digs. Berry notched 10 kills on the night.
It was a marked improvement over the last time the Warriors faced an upper-tier district opponent, a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Albemarle a couple of weeks ago.
“I told the team before this match and after this match, we have been improving,” said Western coach Ron Pack. “The last six or seven matches that we’ve played I’ve been seeing steady improvement. We’ve been playing better, we’ve been passing better.”
Hannah Miles also gave the Warriors a strong effort defensively with 16 digs while Eleri Hayden had three blocks. Elissa Simpson and Erin Farina combined for 29 assists.
For Fluvanna, Tiffani Shaheen had four blocks while Katie Stutz triggered the offense with 33 assists on the night.
The Flucos will get little time to rest before Albemarle comes to town on Thursday. Fluvanna knocked off the Patriots 3-2 earlier this year. Western will host Orange County the same night.