TROY – Franklin Monroe had a tough task in front of them to beat defending district champ Russia in the District finals. Russia is a battle tested team that had won District the two previous years. The Jets won the first two sets but could not win a third set as Russia came from behind and defeated Franklin Monroe in five sets; 28-26, 25-22, 21-25, 23-25, 2-15.
The Jets made a good accounting of themselves in the first two sets. Corina Conley and Chloe Peters did a great job at the net and the back row did a good job of handling the viscous front row of the Raiders. But after that second set, the Raiders seemed to figure out the Jets style of play and adjusted. It was around this time that a Jet player got a pulled hamstring. The Jets played even in the third set but inexplicably stalled late in the match and after gaining a 21-20 lead they let the Raiders score the next 5-points and get the win. This changed the momentum.
In the fourth set the Raiders pulled ahead and were up by 7, 23-16. At this point, the Jets woke up and went on a heroic run that fell just short. They closed the gap to 24-23, but the Raiders scored the game point and that rally was for naught. In the last set, the Jets seemed emotionally and physically spent. Things did not go their way at all. Spikes either went long or were blocked back. Plays that they had been able to make earlier in the match went awry. The Raiders made short work of the Jets and captured a third straight district title.
“We were so close (district title), but we just couldn’t pull it off, said Franklin Monroe Coach Filbrun after the match, “but we worked hard and made a good effort. Our style of volleyball kept them frustrated for the first two sets. We had a girl pull a hamstring and we were trying to deal with that and having to adjust. We had to play with our minds and not our bodies. I knew that if we didn’t win that third set that we would have to battle for it and you know what – we did, we battled all the way. ”
Next she was asked about the seniors, “All three of them have been great leaders for our program. Corina Conley has been a great front row presence for us the past four years. Chloe Peters is strong outside hitter. She is a good defender and she works her tail off all the time. Bell Cable – her defense is incredible. It is great to have a girl like that who is not afraid to put herself on the floor. All three of them and their leadership will be missed.”
It was a great season for Franklin Monroe, they were second place in the CCC – a strong volleyball conference which had three teams play in district finals this weekend. Corina Conley was First Team All-District, Belle Cable was Second Team All-District. Conley was CCC co-player of the year. Belle Cable and Chloe Peters were First Team CCC, Chloe McGlinch got the school record for most assists in a game, and head coach Angie Filbrun was CCC coach of the year.