Falcons fall to Eagles in volleyball

WOODSTOCK — Central entered Thursday’s volleyball contest with Clarke County searching for its first win of the season. The Falcons didn’t come away with the win, but they may have found the kind of play they’ve been looking for this season.

The Falcons saw leads evaporate late in each of the first two sets and fell 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-16) to Clarke County in Bull Run District action.

Central coach Christy Barb said it was one of the best matches her team has played all season.

“We battled very well tonight,” Barb said. “The things that we’ve been working on diligently in practice I saw tonight for the first time on the court. It looks very promising for the rest of the season.”

The Falcons led for most of the first set, building leads of 13-9 and 22-17. Barb said she was pleased with how her players were mixing things up and not just trying to hit the ball hard.

“I saw girls pushing and tipping more instead of just trying to slam the ball,” Barb said. “We’re trying to teach the girls that you have to get the other team to be caught off guard, and so you have to be a mixing team and tonight we were a mixing team.”

It certainly worked early on, but the Eagles began to adjust and rallied late in the first set.

Clarke County (3-4, 2-0 Bull Run) ended the first set with an 8-0 run, including three kills by Javonna Lansdown and two service aces from Jade Feltner.

“I think we came out a little flat tonight,” Clarke County coach Seneca Sowers said. “So, I was a little disappointed with our start, but we picked it up as the sets went on. … Central hit us in a lot of tough spots, especially sending a lot of balls deep. Early on we just didn’t make the adjustment we did a much better job in set three.”

The Falcons (0-7, 0-2 Bull Run) started off strong again in the second set. Two kills by Savannah Gochenour and one kill each from Nicole Baker and Kila Watson gave Central a 15-9 lead.

Clarke County responded once again with 10-2 run, aided by a kill each from Alegra Eyles, Morgan Withers and Rebecca Acland. Central was able to cut the lead to 19-18, but two kills from Lansdown and a service ace by Acland helped seal the set.

The third set went back and forth early on. Clarke County closed the set and match off with a 10-2 run, led by Eyles with four kills.

Lansdown, who finished with 14 kills and one block, is the go-to hitter on the team, but Sowers said she has other hitters who can help give the team blanace.

“Allegra Eyles has really stepped up big for us,” Sowers said. “Our middles did a good job on the net tonight. We’re trying to work our whole team offense this year. Yes, Javonna has a ton of hits and we rely on her a lot, but it’s got to be six people out there working together.”

Eyles finished with eight kills and Acland had five for the Eagles.

The Falcons had a balanced attack led by Gochenour with three kills, and Bree Pifer with four blocks.

Barb said the Falcons need to use the loss to the Eagles as a positive.

“I think we just need to build on their confidence and build on tonight’s game,” Barb said. “Instead of looking at negatives of this match, we just need to boost up the positives.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com