First Baptist girls fall to 0-2

Published 9:22 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Baptist Christian’s Brianna Longo goes for a kill against Veritas Christian Academy on Tuesday evening. Longo made a significant impact for the Lady Crusaders, contributing 7 service points and 2 kills.

The First Baptist Christian Lady Crusaders’ volleyball team lost to Veritas Christian Academy on Tuesday in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-16, 25-22.

Coach Kristy Patton found her impression of the game shaped by how the Lady Crusaders had played in their previous match.

“It was a bit disappointing, because we came out strong (in the first game of the season) and played Gateway, which is one of our top competitors,” she said. “We played them to five games, all five games were close. A s a matter of fact, the fifth game was 15-17, about as close as you can get. So we were looking forward to playing again. Tonight didn’t exactly go as planned, but we’ve had some shifts and shuffles.”

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Kelly Brown, one of FBC’s primary middle hitters, was injured on Tuesday and unable to play.

“We missed her greatly,” Patton said. “When that happens, other people are having to play out of position.”

Caitlin Hankins led the Lady Crusaders with eight service points and three aces.

Senior setter Janna Williams, who had four assists and three kills, said the loss of Brown and early-season jitters contributed to the loss.

“Well, one of our middle hitters is missing, so that was kind of a dent in what we’ve been working on,” she said, “And then, we don’t talk like we should and we don’t have the unity yet because we’re just all new together.”

There were more changes to which the Lady Crusaders were adapting. For the first time this season, they used a libero player.

“She’s able to go in for anybody on the back row at any time,” Patton said. “There’s certain rules around it, but basically, she can play the back row any time.”

Zoe Waddell filled the role and played well, providing at least three digs.

Waddell’s ability to play the roaming position is an indication of improvement, as the team was not strong enough and needed her elsewhere earlier in the season.

“Just this past week, we added two new girls who had just moved here from Colorado,” Patton said. “And so we’re really excited about adding them.”

The new girls, Brianna and Paxton Longo, both made contributions in their first game with FBC. Brianna had seven service points and two kills, and Paxton had a kill as well.

Kelly Lester served as a spark plug for FBC in the third set. With her team down 14-21, Lester led a rally with four straight service points, two of them aces.

The Lady Crusaders will again face rival Gateway next Tuesday for the first road match of the year. Their first meeting was a close one, and Patton hopes, due to the changes, that Gateway will not feel like it is playing a familiar team.

“Gateway’s going to see a different team when we see them again, for sure,” Patton said. “We’re going to work really hard in practice the next couple days and on communication and placement and who’s supposed to be where and how all that’s set up.”