Franklin Monroe volleyball gets close win in battle against Ansonia


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — Tournament time came early for Franklin Monroe and Ansonia volleyball. The two teams played like it was a win and go home scenario in this regular season WOAC matchup at Franklin Monroe on Oct. 5.

The Lady Jets came out on top, 3-1, after four close sets. Head coach Angie Filbrun said she expected this one to be a close one and it delivered.

“We knew it was going to be a battle. It was up and down, up and down. But, we came out on top. My girls worked together as a team and we made it work,” Filbrun said.

The first set started back and forth as both teams couldn’t build any substantial lead. If one team went up one or two points, the other team responded right away.

Franklin Monroe slowly started to build a lead as they led 21-18, but Ansonia called a timeout. It was a good decision as the Lady Tigers battled back to sent the set into extra points.

Eventually, the Lady Tigers clawed their way back to a 27-25 set win. The team’s confidence never wavered during the set.

It was a different story in set two. Franklin Monroe came out with their power hitters and took an early 14-8 lead. Ansonia did all they could to get back into the set once again.

The Lady Tigers were forcing long rallies and getting quality attacks off. The Lady Jets held strong and found a way to extend their lead as they won the second set, 25-19.

Ansonia head coach Lydia Schlarman said the slow starts to the sets didn’t help the team out as they had to spend a lot of energy continually coming back from behind.

“It makes it hard on the girls when they go on these runs of getting down and they have to work themselves back up. It makes for a really long and tiring game. I think that ultimately got to us tonight,” Schlarman said.

The third set started with an 8-2 Lady Jets lead. The serving and the offense were clicking for them. But once again, the Lady Tigers collected themselves after a timeout and started to play sound volleyball.

The defense and the serving sparked the Ansonia comeback. They kept chipping away at their deficit. Franklin Monroe called two timeouts while having the lead to stop any momentum Ansonia had. Filbrun said it was a game where the teams would match each other’s runs.

“We would get ahead and they would just creep back in. They didn’t go away. They’re defense was great tonight. My goodness, we could not get that ball down. We kept fighting and we were able to come out on top,” Filbrun said.

Senior Madyson Buckingham was the key to the Lady Tigers defense. All match long, she was all over the court diving and running to keep the ball up. During that third set, Buckingham even had three straight aces on the way to eventually tie the set up at 23-23.

“She’s not afraid to throw her body on the floor and that showed tonight. She really is outstanding in that back row and she proved herself on that tonight,” Schlarman said.

Once it was a tied set, Franklin Monroe found a way to get two straight points for the 25-23 set win.

It was another battle in the fourth set. Franklin Monroe would get out to an early lead, but Ansonia would come right back. The Lady Tigers tied the game at 18-18 forcing a Franklin Monroe timeout.

But, the Lady Jets didn’t waste too much time to get this set and match win. Hitters like juniors Allie Muhlenkamp and Presley Cox powered their way through the Ansonia defense. Sophomore Katie Waller ended the match on an ace to give the Lady Jets the win.

Filbrun said this was a great game to have in preparation for tournament time. She also said she expects another great battle to end out the season as they host Tri-Village on Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Both coaches said they don’t know what to expect come tournament draw. For Schlarman, she is looking forward to seeing the talent on the team shine.

“There’s a lot of spots up for grabs. I’m excited for the girls for first tournament. There’s a lot of talent on our team. I just hope that they come out and show that during the tournament,” Schlarman said.

Filbrun said the team is excited for postseason play. They will look to build on this win and get ready for the Lady Patriots and their tournament run ahead.

“There’s certain things we can work on and get ourselves better and ready. This is a good win for us,” Filbrun said.

Franklin Monroe is now 12-9 on the season with a 6-4 conference record. Ansonia is now 9-12 on the season with a 5-6 conference record. The Lady Tigers end the season with a home match against Fort Recovery on Oct. 9 at 5;30 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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