King’s Fork volleyball season ends

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The year for both the girls’ and boys’ volleyball teams at King’s Fork High School came to an abrupt and surprising conclusion in the quarterfinals of the regional tournament on Monday.

The Lady Bulldogs experienced the most stunning turnaround after going up two games to none against host Churchland High School with fairly dominant scores: 25-11 and 25-14.

King's Fork High School's Drequan Wilson looks to get a kill from the corner against visiting Indian River High School on Monday evening.

King’s Fork High School’s Drequan Wilson looks to get a kill from the corner against visiting Indian River High School on Monday evening.

“We just ran out of steam,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Sarah Porter said.

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King’s Fork dropped the final three games 14-25, 16-25, 10-15.

“The third game, it was just like we couldn’t find it, we couldn’t find what we did the first two games,” Porter said.

She said senior setter Erin Banks and junior outside hitter Taylor Harrell had both gotten good starts. Banks ended up with 15 assists, four aces and three kills, while Harrell had seven kills, five digs and three aces.

Porter gave credit to the Lady Truckers (16-5). “Churchland has a lot of energy and a lot of confidence, and they kind of just took ours,” she said.

The King’s Fork boys’ volleyball team had a good start in its home match against Indian River High School, winning the first game 25-23. It then dropped three straight, 17-25, 21-25, 20-25.

Bulldogs head coach Joseph Burns said his team started making more mistakes in the latter games, but he also praised the Braves.

“They’re a good team, so I think we matched up pretty well,” he said. “I guess they just rose to the occasion more than we did.”

Burns had trouble putting his finger on one thing that resulted in the lost games. He said the Braves improved their hitting, but it is possible the Bulldogs ceased to match-up well because their rotation might have been out of alignment with Indian River’s compared to the first set.

Senior outside hitter Mark Kluck led the Bulldogs with 13 kills and also had six blocks and three digs. Junior middle blocker Dale Roscoe added nine kills and seven blocks, junior setter Cal Bailey had 22 assists and Cole Bailey chipped in eight digs.

The Bulldogs finished 15-10 overall for the year. Their play and the realignment gave them unprecedented opportunities. The Ironclad Conference regular season and tournament championship wins were the first championships of any kind claimed by King’s Fork boys’ or girls’ volleyball teams.

“I think, all in all, the season was a resounding success,” Burns said. He also has good reason to hope for the future. “I really hope that all the underclassmen come back. We only have two people graduating from the team.”

Though the Lady Bulldogs wrapped up the season with an 11-12 overall record appearing middle-of-the-road, they finished second in the Ironclad Conference. Their performance led to the team’s first post-season appearance ever, allowing the team to continue playing well after the time it is used to hanging up its shoes.

“We’ve never been playing in November in the past 10 years I’ve coached, so that’s an accomplishment in and of itself,” Coach Porter said.

Monday’s loss was disappointing, but with seven potentially returning players now having a year of experience in the new alignment, Porter said, “I’m still excited for next year and what’s to come.”