PITSBURG – The Franklin Monroe volleyball team suffered its first Cross County Conference loss of the season on Tuesday at the hands of five time defending league champion Miami East.
Even though her team was swept 25-18, 25-18, 25-10, Franklin Monroe coach Amy Booher was really happy with how her team played against the powerhouse Vikings.
“I am super happy with the way they played tonight,” Booher said. “My goal for them was just to come out and be competitive. We knew they were going to be a tough, tough team to beat. But I felt like we came out … the girls didn’t come out intimidated. They came out playing strong, and we stayed right with them. So I’m super happy with how they played tonight.”
Miami East took an early lead in the opening set and started to pull away from Franklin Monroe, prompting the Jets to use a timeout while down 11-5. The break rejuvenated FM as the Jets scored seven of the next nine points and closed the gap to a single point, 13-12, prompting Miami East to use a timeout.
Miami East scored the first point after its timeout, but then Franklin Monroe went on a 4-0 run to take its first lead of the game and go up 16-14. The Vikings bounced back, though, and scored the next six points to retake the lead. FM couldn’t recover and dropped the opening set 25-18.
Franklin Monroe never led in the second set, but the Jets kept hanging around with the Vikings. Through the opening minutes of the game the Vikings couldn’t increase their lead to more than three points.
Franklin Monroe cut its deficit to a single point at 16-15 before Miami East started to take control. The Vikings went on a 9-3 run to end the game with another 25-18 victory and a 2-0 Miami East lead in the match.
FM got off to its best start of the night in the third set. The Jets led 3-2 early in the game, which had ties at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4.
After Miami East took a 5-4 advantage, Jonni Parker took control of the game with her serving to lead the Vikings on a 19-0 run for a 23-4 lead.
“She has a really tough serve,” Booher said. “We tried to switch things up a little bit just trying to receive but just couldn’t get it that time.”
Franklin Monroe didn’t give up, however, and scored six of the final eight points including five in a row while facing match point to make the final score 25-10, ending the match with a 3-0 Miami East victory.
“I’m proud they didn’t give up on it even though they knew we were probably not going to come back on that one,” Booher said of the Jets’ performance in the third set.
Franklin Monroe fell to 7-2 on the season with Tuesday’s loss. The Jets play at Covington on Thursday in another CCC match.
Booher said she hopes her team can continue its strong play and start another win streak on Thursday.
“We have been doing great this year,” she said. “The girls have really worked hard. We’ve been serve-receiving really well, getting our hitters set up really well.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.