MADISON — Flowery Branch High’s volleyball team learned how much momentum played into the game of volleyball against No. 5 ranked Ringgold in the Class AAA round of 16 on Saturday at Morgan County High.
The No. 8 ranked Lady Falcons (34-12) cruised through the first game with ease before losing the next three to end their season with a loss to the Tigers 22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-15.
"We had too many service errors, and some of our servers hit the ball in the net or hit the ball long," Flowery Branch coach Bryan Mavis said. "Our hitters were hitting to the diggers, and that gave Ringgold confidence to do different stuff."
Despite the loss, Flowery Branch finished with a school record 34 wins and its second consecutive trip to the state playoffs. The previous record for the Lady Falcons was 24 wins in a single season.
This marked the third time in the last four seasons that Flowery Branch has played in the postseason.
"I was very proud of our team this season," Mavis added. "We scheduled way more matches and still had fewer losses this season.
"We had strong senior leadership this season, and were able to speed up our offense this season with more consistent passing," Mavis said. "We were able to use our middle hitters to disrupt the other defenses this season."
Against Ringgold, Jennica Ramey led the Lady Falcons with 21 assists and a block assist in her final high school match. Megan Grewett added 12 kills and a blocked shot for Flowery Branch.
Danielle Miller added five kills and seven aces for Flowery Branch, and Samantha Salyers had four kills, a pair of aces and a blocked shot.
Everything looked promising for Flowery Branch in Game 1. The Lady Falcons jumped to an early 9-5 lead and cruised to an easy victory.
Then the No. 5-ranked Tigers got into gear in the second game. Ringgold took its first lead of the match at 8-7, and never trailed the remainder of that game.
Flowery Branch only took the lead two more times in the match, both times early in the fourth and deciding game.
Mavis said the match took a decisive turn in Ringgold’s favor when it took an 11-1 lead in the third game. Such a large cushion was enough to sustain a slight turn of momentum in the Lady Falcons’ favor later in the game.
"They (Ringgold) were running quicker balls to the outside, and running almost a shoot set to the outside hitters," Mavis said. "We stopped trying to hit open floor, and really starting hitting in right in there arms, and gave them that confidence to start doing different stuff."
Lindsay Porter had three kills, one block assist, and an assist for Flowery Branch. Maleigha King added three kills and four aces for the Lady Falcons.
Flowery Branch’s season is now complete.
Flowery Branch swept Morgan County in first round
Ramey had 22 assists and Porter added seven kills, an assist and a blocked shot for Flowery Branch in a 25-15, 25-22, 25-12 win against the Bulldogs in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament. Salyers added seven kills, two aces and an assist for the Lady Falcons, and Danielle Miller had three kills and three aces.
Morgan County’s season ended with the loss.