FHC Volleyball Falls in District Semifinals in Dramatic Fashion

The lady rangers lost to the Lowell red arrows in a heartbreaking fashion, losing by two points in a five set match.

FHC Volleyball Falls in District Semifinals in Dramatic Fashion

Joe Freihofer, Sports Reporter

The look on the seniors’ faces said it all. A wave of disbelief and shock came over them, as they gathered in a huddle one last time.  In one of the most competitive matches of the season, the Lady Rangers lost in their home district semifinal to the Lowell Red Arrows three sets to two.

With the score 2-2, head coach Lauren Heinz huddled up the girls before the start of the fifth and tried to light a fire underneath the team. FHC had faced a fifth set before against the Red Arrows, and Heinz knew that they could climb out of the slump that they were in. Both sides fought relentlessly, diving for balls and firing kills over the net with everything they had. The set had come to 14-14, and the gym was absolutely electric. Reese Weslow served the ball over with ease but the Red Arrows found a hole in the Lady Rangers defense. FHC huddled together on the court, knowing that one more point could be the end of their season. Lowell ended up getting that final point, winning the set 16-14 and the game 3-2.

FHC headed into the game Wednesday night 2-0 against Lowell in their previous matchups, and they had defeated Greenville just two days before in only three sets. The Lady Rangers started off strong in the first set and took a commanding lead early. It was a big night for senior Reese Weslow and junior Kendall Gardner; the two were repeatedly firing kills towards the Red Arrows and came up with some big defensive saves.

The final score of the first set ended 25-19 in favor of FHC. The offensive firepower translated to the second set in similar fashion. Sophomore Katrina Bodkins stepped up big and played a major role for the remainder of the night. The Red Arrows were the first to score in this set, and went on an early run. This Lowell lead was short-lived and was countered by more kills and spikes from the Lady Rangers.

The Lady Rangers slowly began to lose grip on the momentum they had once possessed. Lowell began to build their score by firing kills and sets over the net. FHC shrugged off the lost points and continued to battle towards a victory. FHC was stuck on 22 points for four straight sets, but were unable to finish off the Red Arrows. Lowell stormed back and won the third set 25-22. The match began to unfold from there.  Lowell was almost unbeatable defensively and seemed unstoppable no matter what the Lady Rangers threw at them. FHC gave it everything they had, but it was not enough to ward off the Red Arrows. Lowell had won the fourth set 25-22.

Soon after the deciding fifth set, Heinz reflected on the season as a whole and recognized that her girls had given it all that they had.

“It was a great season,” Heinz said. “We were conference champs and only had one loss through the entire conference season. Unfortunately, the one time we lost to Lowell was a time when it mattered the most. Our girls left it all on the floor. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. It is what it is.”

Heinz also touched on how similar this match was to the five set match that her side previously won when the two teams last met.

“The last time we played them it was the same thing except it worked out in our favor,” Heinz said. “We won by two in the fifth set, and tonight they won by two in the fifth. There are a lot of things that factor into it but it was very similar to the last time we played.”

Senior Reese Weslow was positive about the way the team played this season.

“I’m proud of our team,” Reese said. “We won conference which was one of our goals, and I think we fought hard in this game to end the season.”

Reese also gave some advice to the younger players coming up in the program.

“Play hard in practice because you never know when it’s going to be your last. I think we didn’t have our best last practice so that kinda hurt us a little bit.”