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Faith Academy volleyball begins big three-match stretch

CAPTION: Faith Academy of Marble Falls junior Jillian Martin and the Lady Flames’ tough defense forces Round Rock Christian to hit winners for the victory. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls volleyball team hosts the next three matches featuring opponents that are ranked higher in the District 3-3A standings of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

The first is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, against Bryan Brazos Christian (29-6, 6-1), which is second in the standings. After that is Temple Central Texas Christian (26-14, 5-2), which is third, Thursday, Oct. 5. Then there’s Waco Live Oak Classical (3-3), which is fourth, Tuesday, Oct. 10. Those varsity matches begin at 6 p.m. All contests are at The Fire Pit.

The Lady Flames (9-21-2, 2-5) are entering those matches after losing to Round Rock Christian 10-25, 23-25, 17-25 Sept. 29.

“That was probably the best we’ve played the entire season,” Sawyer said. “They’re defending state champions for two years, winning back to back. I was so impressed (with my players).”

She said the Lady Flames’ defense led by senior libero Carleigh Henderson forced Round Rock Christian to try harder to hit winners. Henderson finished with 15 digs followed by senior outside hitter Jillian Martin with nine, and junior setter Hadley Shipley and sophomore defensive specialist Bosley Kuker each had six. In all Faith had 49 digs to Round Rock Christian’s 34 kills.

“They showed up, they were digging balls,” the coach said. “Carleigh played great. She dug those balls.”

Senior Kaytlyn Wood led the Lady Flames in kills with seven followed by Shipley with four, and Martin added three. Junior Abigail Blackington had nine assists followed by Shipley with seven. Henderson and Shipley each had two aces, while junior Natalie Weems led with three blocks.

As the Lady Flames drove back to Marble Falls, Sawyer was encouraged by her players’ conversation on the bus.

“Everybody improved all the way around,” Sawyer said. “They said, ‘If we play like that, there’s no way we can not win the other games.’ They got a spark, the played hard. They were excited. We were on cloud nine. It was a good feeling all the way around.”

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CAPTION: Faith Academy of Marble Falls junior setter Hadley Shipley contributes to every category during the loss to Round Rock Christian. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

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