BARTRAM TRAIL – The Fleming Island High girls volleyball team made uncharacteristic mistakes on defense and let the host Bartram Trail High Lady Bears win a decisive 3-0 district 4-8A …
BARTRAM TRAIL – The Fleming Island High girls volleyball team made uncharacteristic mistakes on defense and let the host Bartram Trail High Lady Bears win a decisive 3-0 district 4-8A championship Thursday night at Bartram Trail High School.
Bartram Trail shutout the Golden Eagles with game scores of 27-25, 26-24 and 25-14 as both teams advance to the region 1-8A tournament. Fleming Island (23-3) will travel to district 3-8A champion Fletcher High ( in Neptune Beach while Bartram Trail will host district 3-8A runnerup Atlantic Coast on Wed., Oct. 24.
“We just did not pass well tonight,” said Fleming Island High coach Amy Walker, who finished her regular season as the number two seed behind Bartram Trail despite splitting games with the Bears in regular season play. “Typically, what separates us from other teams is that we did not have that fight in us tonight.”
Despite 15 scoring kill shots from senior Lyara Rosario, the Golden Eagles backline defense had its share of mishaps off deep spikes from the Bears front line, mainly senior middle hitter Alexia Kuehl, who finished with over 200 kills for the season. Ten receiving errors during the match were critical in momentum shifts through the game that drained the spirit of the Golden Eagles.
“I could see the body language and lack of intensity,” said Walker. “I don’t think the win streak was on their mind, but more the strain of putting ourselves out there as targets. We just have to regroup and move through the regions.”
In game two, the Bears rushed to a 16-10 early lead with Fleming Island’s blockers; Madison Mas, Rayna Durden and Jillian Jackson, all making contact against Duehl and Sammy Sicoli, but not having the blocks stay on the floor.
“We weren’t getting lucky when we were in position on the blocks,” said Walker. “We know she (Kuehl) likes to go straight into the block, we were forcing her to go sideways and our blocks were deflecting out of bounds.”
Led by Maya Walker’s efforts at the net, Fleming Island engineered a comeback in game two to push back to 18-17 with Rosario blasting a winner and following with a floater to tie the game at 19-19 as the Golden Eagles’ fans sensed a turnaround.
Bartram Trail stayed a point ahead of Fleming Island in the final five volleys with a dig error putting the Bears up 22-20.
“Miah (senior defender Miah Pena) is our vocal leader out there, but was having a bad night getting balls up to the net,” said Walker. “I needed her out there to try and start a comeback because she has been the backbone all year.”
Walker pounded a scoring shot to keep the score at 23-22 with Jazmine Robinson blasting a shot to 24-23 and Durden ending the run with a massive block on Bartram Trail’s Klaire Van Deusen to tie the match at 24-24.
A kills from Sicoli that Jackson covered but blocked out of bounds and a Pena error on serve gave Bartram Trail the win 26-24.
In the match-ending game, Bartram Trail rolled quickly off the energy of the overtime win in game two to burst at the net to a 15-8 lead that Fleming Island did not survive as the Bears got up by as much a s 21-9 before finishing off Fleming Island 25-14.