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Fluco volleyball team takes the title

The Flying Fluco volleyball team faced off with John Handley High School from Winchester on Nov. 6 for the Virginia High School League (VSHL) Conference 23 championship. Playing on their home court, before an enthusiastic crowd of mostly fellow students, the Flucos dominated.

The Flucos won the first game easily by a 25-13 margin. They faltered in the second game, allowing Handley to come from behind for a 25-22 win. However, Coach Christina Harlowe-Garrett’s squad buckled down and won the next two games by scores of 25-12 and 25-19 to win the match and the trophy.

There were a number of long impressive rallies in this match, but in the final analysis the Flucos were the superior team at the net. Kill shots are what normally decide a volleyball match and the Flucos were too strong in this aspect of the game for the Handley Judges.

In the first game of this match the Flucos relied on kills and service aces to jump to an early 8-2 lead, forcing the Handley coach to call an early timeout. The timeout was ineffective, as senior Maddy Kline blasted home two kill shots when play resumed to give the Flucos an insurmountable 10-2 early lead.  The Flucos built their lead to 17-6 and Handley called another timeout. Again, the timeout was followed by two quick kill shots by Kline. The Flucos were outscored by the Judges 7-6 the rest of the way, but senior Kylee Dixon served the winning point for the Flucos for a comfortable eight point win

In game two, the Flucos led in mid-game by 12-8 and 15-11, with Kline and senior Leslie Walters unleashing vicious kill shots along the way. However, Handley rallied to tie at 16-16. The game was also tied at 20-20. Handley won several long rallies, and won the game 25-22.

The pressure was on with the match at one game apiece. With senior Lee Lee Robbins serving, the Flucos jumped to a 5-0 lead. Robbins had two aces and Kline had an impressive kill shot. The Flucos were too strong for the Judges as they pushed the lead to 10 at 17-7. A mini rally by Handley was to no avail, as the Flucos recovered to keep the lead at 10 with the score at 21-11. Junior Kate Stutz served the final three points for the Flucos, as they won easily by 25-12.

The situation looked good for the Flucos. The Judges would have to win two in a row to take the title, and the Flucos had won two games by very comfortable margins. Nonetheless, the Judges fought hard in game four. The game opened with a long back and forth with neither team able to grab the advantage. The score was tied 6-6, 9-9 and 12-12. However, at this point the Flucos broke it open. Kline recorded a kill shot, Dixon served an ace and Walters scored a vicious kill. After Handley scored, senior Tiffani Shaheen scored on a clever dink shot, and Walters blasted two aces. The Flucos lead 18-13 and never looked back. They finished the game 7-6 for a 25-19 win. In this match, Kline recorded an impressive 21 kill shots, which gives her over 1,000 for her career. Walters also scored well, with 15 kill shots.

After the game, Coach Harlowe-Garrett said that this is the Flucos second Conference 23 championship in three years. Conference 23 is made up of schools in the Central Virginia region with comparable enrollment to Fluvanna High School. In the Jefferson District, the Flucos play schools that are both larger and smaller in enrollment.

The Flucos now go on to 4A North Regional play, with the first game held on Tuesday, Nov.11 at Fluvanna. If they prevail in the Regional competition they will go on to compete for the 4A state title.

Scrimmage Play: Fluvanna County Headlines