At the net

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, August 27, 2009

CHESAPEAKE – First Baptist Christian lost its opening girls volleyball match of the season on Thursday night in five sets, 25-11, 14-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-7, at Atlantic Shores, but the Crusaders already know they are capable of overcoming adversity.

In the third set, with First Baptist leading 7-5, and just after the Crusaders had turned the momentum of the match around by taking the second set in impressive fashion after the host Seahawks had comfortably won the first set, First Baptist’s co-captain and primary setter Abby Edwards went down to the court after a block attempt at the net. Edwards was in clear pain with an injury to her right ankle.

Edwards and Becca Ballance are the only two seniors on the Crusader team, and in fact the first two seniors in the program’s short history since this is the first school year First Baptist Christian will have a senior class.


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Atlantic Shores won 12 of the next 16 points after the injury to Edwards as First Baptist had to regroup on the fly.

The set turned around on Tiffany Stancil’s service as the Crusaders moved ahead with a 7-0 run. Dani Edwards’ kill gave First Baptist an 18-17 lead.

Back-to-back aces by Megan Farmer won points 23 and 24 for First Baptist and a Seahawk error gave First Baptist game point and a 2-1 lead in the match.

First Baptist kept going to a 5-0 lead to start the fourth set, led by a kill and block by Ballance, but the quick lead in the fourth set was the high water mark for the Crusaders.

Atlantic Shores rallied and regained the lead at 11-10 and held the lead through the rest of set four and the tiebreaking final set.

First Baptist lost a few points late in the match due to no communication in the middle of the court after a good dig or pass. First Baptist’s serving, a strength in the two sets that went to the Crusaders, gave away a few crucial points, especially in the fifth set.

Earlier in the match, after Atlantic Shores won the opening game in pretty easy fashion, First Baptist jumped out to a 6-0 lead in set two behind Christine Joslin’s serving. The Crusaders kept going to leads of 12-4 and 18-8 in the second set.

“I’m extremely proud. Sure, we would have liked to have the win, but I’m very proud right now,” said First Baptist head coach Joe Cockrell.

After the injury to Abby Edwards, Morgan Overton took over the main setting job.

“It’s her first year on varsity, but she’s a bulldog for us and she’ll get to anything,” said Cockrell, who said with Edwards out and Abby Cockrell out before the season started with a broken foot, the last two season MVPs for First Baptist’s volleyball team are out injured for the time being.

Stancil led the Crusaders with 14 service points. Ballance had seven kills and Dani Edwards, Abby’s younger sister, had five kills. First Baptist (0-1) hosts a three-team tri-match on Saturday at 10 a.m.