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Girls Volleyball makes history

Girls Volleyball made school history as they brought home the first District Championship title.

On. Oct. 26, the Falcons traveled to Windsor High School where they faced the Festus Tigers in the first round of districts. In preparation for the game, head coach Aaron Hummert said he reflected on last year’s performance at districts.

“Our strategy for the finals match was to play much wider to the perimeter of the court on defense,” Hummert said. “We knew we’d have to work really hard to earn points, therefore we tried to get our middles involved as much as possible to use our size advantage against them.”

The Falcons utilized this new strategy when they competed against the Tigers. Sophomore Kylie Stehlin came out with scoring 17 kills and three blocks to benefit the Falcons’ win. Stehlin said her awareness of the opposing team’s strengths contributed to her personal strategy in accumulating points.

“My personal strategy going into this was just to hit all the open spots but be very aware of where the Tigers were positioned on defense,” Stehlin said. “As a team we had to work in some harder shots or angles to keep the defense on their toes.”

The Falcons maintained that same mentality throughout the game, propelling them to a 3-0 set victory over the Tigers. Senior Colleen Crawford said their win stemmed from their confidence levels.

“We had tons of energy and were confident in ourselves and our abilities, which caused us to play well,” Crawford said. 

On Oct. 28, the Falcons visited the Windsor Owls in the District Championship. In order to secure the win, Hummert said he changed the strategy from the previous game in order to combat the Owls’ defense.

“One thing we knew going into the match was that Windosr plays incredible defense, so we knew we’d have to work really hard to earn points,” Hummert said.

The Falcons fell short to the Owls in the first set 26-24, to which the Falcons responded with winning the second set 25-22. Stehlin said the Falcons were able to combat the Owls because of their attitude and how they came together to support each other.

“I always just relaxed and talked to my team about what we can keep working on, regardless if the set is a win or loss,” Stehlin said. “Whether or not one of us messed up or got an amazing hit, dig, or set, we would always come together and support each other.”

The Falcons went on to win their next set 25-14, however the Owls responded with winning the fourth set 27-25. With both teams tied in the best of five series, Hummert said the advice he gave to his athletes was to halt their self-doubt within themselves.

“The girls came out and played great in sets two, three, and the first half of four, but we fell victim to some mental errors and lapses in focus,” Hummert said. “For set five, we made sure that we would eliminate all doubt from our minds and finish this game together.”

The Falcons did just that, winning the final set 15-9, and therefore winning the District Championship. For Crawford, she said winning districts meant a lot to her as it is her last year playing volleyball for the Falcons.

“I’ve been wanting to win ever since I was a freshman on varsity and to think that I was on the team who won for the first time in school history makes me so happy and proud of my team and our accomplishments this year,” Crawford said.

Hummert not only credits his athletes for the win, but also said the energy from the fans that attended the game contributed to the win.

“The constant energy the fans and players were giving us all night helped our team grind through those tough runs Windsor made on us in sets one and four,” Hummert said.

The Falcons will look to secure more wins on their road to State, starting on Oct. 31 where they will host sectionals.

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Carrie Sandler, Of The Talon Staff

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