COVINGTON – The jitters are gone for the Franklin-Monroe volleyball team as they defeated Houston in straight sets on Saturday to advance to the Division IV sectional finals for the first time in eight years.
The Lady Jets came into the match very relaxed, according to Coach Angie Filbrun, after her squad shook off any possible nervousness with its first-round win over Cedarville last week. FM was focused, determined and played with enthusiasm in defeating the Wildcats 25-13, 25-10, 25-14 to get to 20 wins for the second straight season.
“That was a good game,” Coach Filbrun said. “We said we had to come out swinging and be ready to go and they did. They were very determined and I am very proud of them.”
Franklin-Monroe (20-4) will meet Fort Loramie at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday for the sectional title at Covington High School.
“We are moving on and this is the first time in eight years that our team has been to the sectional finals,” Coach Filbrun said. “It’s very exciting. We came up with a lot of plays we probably shouldn’t have come up with today and everybody stepped up. They were all over the floor and Kennedy (Morris) especially was running everywhere. She said after the match she thought she could run a marathon now.”
Morris, one of tow seniors for the Lady Jets, recorded 12 assists and 15 digs in the win. The teams other senior – Brigette Filbrun – contributed 13 assists, 16 digs and had 1 ace.
“It was a good team win,” Brigette said. “We came out and played hard and never let go. We played hard to the end and never let them have a chance in it. There were a lot less jitters for the second tournament game.”
“I think we just fought through and didn’t let down,” she said. “We were all ready to come out today swinging. I think we were all really excited for this game. I was all over the floor probably more than I have been, but we were determined. It’s great to get back to 20 wins. It’s something we are really proud of. We all work well together and we are all about getting the job done.”
That’s what Franklin-Monroe did from the start as they took a commanding 15-3 lead in the first set cruising to the 25-13 win. In the second set, it was more of the same for FMHS getting out to a 5-0 lead on a Chloe McGlinch kill. Houston never got closer than 8 points the rest of the way as the Lady Jets closed the second set on back-to-back kills by Belle Cable and Corina Conley.
The third and final set didn’t look much different either, even though the Wildcats mounted a late charge to score their most points (14) of the entire match. Conley had several more kills in the third set and ended the match with a team-leading 10 kills. She also had 4 aces and 2 blocks.
Other contributors were Kloe Zink (8 kills, 1 block), McGlinch (5 kills, 1 ace, 13 digs), Chloe Peters (4 kills, 11 digs) and Cable (13 digs, 1 ace, 1 kill).
“I think because we got that first round win the other day we were able to relax more today,” Coach Filbrun said. “I felt like we came out today so relaxed and we played our game and did what we can do. We were confident tonight and they were just having fun, relaxing and playing the game. That’s what is fun.
“It’s going to get a little tougher from here on out,” she continued. “We’re going to have to put in some hard work on Monday and Tuesday and be ready to come out swinging. This is a good team.”