WOODSTOCK — Three games in four days. That’s what the week looks like for Central’s volleyball team. The Falcons started the busy week with a win, beating Stonewall Jackson in four sets on Monday. The Falcons dropped the first set 25-22, but then won the next three, besting the Generals 25-20, 25-21, 25-21.
“It feels great, especially since they’re our county rival,” said senior Maria Marston after the match. “We really did not want to lose to them.”
Marston, who led all Falcons with 14 kills and 5 blocks, says it was that mental attitude that helped her team battle back after dropping the first set.
“That was not our game. We were much better than that,” she explained after the match.
Central trailed early in set 2, with Stonewall Jackson at one point leading 14-6. Sophomore Keeyarra Dodson got a kill to make it 14-7, and then served five straight points, including 2 aces, to bring the score to 14-12. The second set stayed close from that point, with Central eventually taking the lead 20-19. Dodson recorded the set-clinching kill just six points later, giving the Falcons the game 25-20. The sophomore finished the match with five kills, four aces and one block.
Central coach Ashlie Clar was impressed by her girls’ ability to battle back throughout the match. She says the fans stayed loud, the bench stayed positive and the players stayed focused.
“They’re confidence seemed higher today,” she said. “That shows a lot.”
Central took the momentum from the second set victory into the third set. They led most of the way and ended up winning that set 25-21. The Falcons used a balanced offensive attack, with four players recording five kills or more. Emily Funkhouser had 10 kills and Ella Toothman had nine. Senior setter Erika Hutton was able to set up a number of her teammates, finishing with 31 assists.
In the fourth set the Generals again jumped out to an early lead, thanks to the offense from Lilly Blank and Annika Dellinger. Blank finished with 15 kills and five blocks. Dellinger added another seven kills. The Falcons battled back for a second time, this time tying the score at 20 on a Marston kill. Marston would also record the final kill of the match, giving Central a 25-21 victory in the fourth set.
“That was chaotic,” she said with a smile afterwards.
The Generals (0-10) played great defense in a losing effort. Libero Kylene Franklin had nine digs and Katie Jordan recorded three digs. Stonewall Jackson plays Thursday at Madison County.
Central plays Thursday at home against William Monroe. Clar is hoping for a second-straight strong performance, so her team can have a light practice on Wednesday to break up the busy week.
“They have to earn that. They can’t just have an easy practice,” she said.