Warriors hand Fort Frye volleyball first loss

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Fort Frye’s Kasey Buchanan (31) attempts to block a spike by Warren’s Abby Gilliand, right, during a high school volleyball match Wednesday in Vincent.

VINCENT — With the match knotted at 1-all, Fort Frye had a seven-point lead and was one point away from winning the third set.

But host Warren High had other ideas and rallied to win that game and then the next one to claim the match, 3-1, in non-conference prep volleyball action Wednesday night at Warrior Gym.

After dropping the first set to the Cadets (7-1), 25-14, the Warriors (6-3) won 25-18, 27-25 and 25-20.

“I think that third set with that comeback just gave them that fire that they needed to finish them (Cadets) in four,” said WHS head coach Michelle Tyo. “Tonight was the first night I think so far all season that they truly all looked like they wanted it. And I think that made a big difference. And just knowing that Fort Frye was undefeated, they were driven tonight.”

Madison Foy helped lead the way for the Warriors with 13 kills and 11 digs. Caspen Ford added nine kills; Abby Gilliand eight kills and seven blocks; and Kaylee Ullman seven kills.

WHS setter Victoria Lewis finished with 34 assists, while libero Diamond Decker had 17 digs. Jacey Barnes and Kara Ferguson chipped in with 11 digs and seven digs, respectively.

“Honestly, all of my players did a good job tonight,” Tyo said. “Our defense, I think, got better as the night went on. They came out ready to win.”

Kasey Buchanan led the Cadets with a triple-double in kills (13), blocks (10), and digs (10). The senior standout also had nine points.

Maddie Webb added 12 points and nine digs, while Jade Baker recorded seven kills and eight points. Karlee Ross chipped in with six kills.

FFHS setter Stephanie Camden had 27 assists and 14 points.

“The credit goes to Warren,” said Fort Frye boss Tiffany Smith. “They are a great volleyball team, and we just didn’t have everything as cohesive tonight as we normally would.

“In that aspect, we were a little bit off. But I’m proud of the girls because they really did still battle until the end. And, they kept their focus until the end.”

After Fort dominated the first game by 11 points, Warren came back to win by seven.

The Cadets appeared to be in control in the third set, and in fact had the Warriors on ropes, 24-17. But, that’s when Gilliand started serving, and before the 5-foot-9 junior netter was through, WHS had rattled off seven straight points to level the score.

“I was really nervous,” Gilliand said. “Because I knew I couldn’t miss a serve. I just made sure that I did what I needed to do. Serves are very important.”

After a Cadet timeout, the visitors from Beverly regained the advantage. But once again, the Warrior came back to knot the score and then with Lewis serving, the home team captured the next two points to win the set and go up 2-1.

“Those are the toughest games to drop. Absolutely,” Smith said. “Warren’s a tough team, especially their defense. If you don’t swing hard on some of those back row players, the ball’s not going to go down. They kept so many balls alive, and they battled with so many balls that normally would’ve been points for us.”

Said Tyo, “Abby was serving and she actually did a very good job in the 6-spot with a couple of nice digs. She played that position well tonight.”

Warren never trailed in what proved to be the fourth and final set. Putting an exclamation mark on the game and match was Foy with a kill for point 25.

“We all worked together and we started talking more,” Gilliand said. “I think we just came together as a team, because we had been struggling the past couple of games. We just showed up today and beat them. We were pumped.”

Fort Frye is scheduled to play at Shenandoah in a Pioneer Valley Conference match tonight.

“The biggest thing is taking this loss and learning from it — and putting a little more intensity in their game,” Smith said.

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