CAPTION: Faith Academy Lady Flames Hadley Shipley (14), Kaytlyn Wood (7) and Jillian Martin (1) do everything they can to keep the ball in play against Waco Reicher. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Faith Academy of Marble Falls volleyball team beat Waco Reicher 20-25. 25-17, 25-15, 25-20 Sept. 19 to add another District 3-3A victory of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
The Lady Flames (2-3) now focus their attention on an important road match at Waco Live Oak Classical at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. The junior varsities play first at 5 p.m.
Faith Academy overcame a slow start in the first set where Reicher led most of the way. Down 13-17, the Lady Flames began to respond and trailed 17-18 and 18-19. But Reicher took four of the next five points en route to the win.
In the second set, Faith Academy seized control from the start, building a 7-5 lead that went to 11-8, 16-12 and 24-14.
The Lady Flames played much of the same way in the third, racing to an 8-1 lead that forced Reicher into a timeout. In the end the deficit was too much as Faith won 25-15.
Knowing it had to respond, Reicher began the final set with a 5-2 advantage that compelled Faith head coach Erin Sawyer to call a timeout. The Lady Flames won the next six points and never looked back en route to the victory. They got a service ace from sophomore Bosley Kuker, blocks from sophomore Natalie Weems, and spikes by junior Hadley Shipley and senior Brooke Farmer.
Sawyer had a simple explanation for the key adjustment after the first set.
“We got to the spots we needed to,” she said. “(Reicher) was digging everything. They sent things over we weren’t always ready for, that we had to adjust to.”
The first set was a combination of Reicher playing like a squad that needed a win and Faith using the set to get moving, the coach said.
“We were not ready to play, to come out and jump on them,” Sawyer said. “We came out feeling flat.”
During the short break between sets, Sawyer challenged the Lady Flames to perform the way they know how by being disciplined in serve-receive to start the offense, attack the net with strong spikes and blocks, and trusting each other to do her job.
“We were being disciplined and working together as a team,” she said. “We got more consistent.”
Senior Kaytlyn Wood and Shipley each had 10 kills, while Farmer had seven, and junior Abbye Blackington and Weems each had six. Farmer also had six aces, while Shipley added four. Farmer also had three blocks. Kuker had 17 digs followed by Wood with 11, and junior Jillian Martin with 10. Blackington had 18 assists, while Hadley had 13.
And while Faith got the win, Sawyer noted Reicher is an example of why there are no easy victories in the district.
“They were digging like nobody’s business,” she said. “We started doing all the right things, and we started playing the way we play. That turned the corner.”
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CAPTION: Faith Academy junior Abbye Blackington stretches for this dig against Waco Reicher. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro