Fierce rally pushes FHS volleyball past Maryville

Farragut High School’s volleyball team nabbed a dramatic District 3-AAA victory over a longtime rival late last week.

However, things didn’t start all that great for the Lady Admirals, but they would come out on top as they outlasted Maryville 21-25, 25-15, 25-22, 27-25 Thursday, Sept. 12, in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

It took a fierce rally and a controversial call for Farragut (11-4 overall, 2-1 in District 3-AAA) to avoid a fifth and deciding set. But nothing ever comes easily in this league.

The Lady Rebels (15-6, 2-2) had a 22-16 lead in the fourth game before the Lady Ads stormed back to pull even at 22-22 on a service run by Kate Priest.

But Maryville again gained the upper hand and took a 25-24 lead as things got crazy. The Lady Rebels appeared to score set point, but instead that point went to Farragut and re-knotted the set.

Maryville’s Meg Merson argued the call and was assessed a red card, which gave the Lady Ads a 26-25 lead. FHS’s Lauren Loveday, who was playing with a broken nose, then scored match point and the Lady Ads walked off the court with a huge league win.

“This was a big win for us because Maryville and all the Blount County schools are big rivals for us,” said Loveday, who finished the match with 18 points, 14 kills, 10 digs and two blocks. “This was definitely a team effort for us; you have to have a clean hit, a clean set and a clean kill.

“We couldn’t have done this without each other.”

But things didn’t start well for Farragut on this night, falling behind 12-7 out of the gate. They would, however, rally to take a 13-12 lead before the Lady Rebels reassumed control.

Maryville went up 15-13. The Lady Ads would rally one more time and take a 17-16 lead before the Lady Rebels scored eight of the last 13 points to capture the set.

Farragut would open a 17-6 lead in the second set and cruise to victory to tie the match 1-1.

The Lady Admirals would get off to a fast start and open a 12-6 lead in the third game thanks to back-to-back service aces from Priest.

Maryville would claw its way back into the set and pull to within 23-21 before Farragut closed out that game.

The Lady Rebels opened a 7-2 lead to start the fourth game and appeared poised to force a fifth and deciding set before FHS rallied to capture the game and match in dramatic fashion.

“I felt like we played well and we did a much better job passing tonight,” Lady Ads head coach Susan Davidson said. “We had much better controlled passing and we played well at the net tonight.”

Loveday, one of a pair of Farragut seniors, provided the Lady Admirals with a huge spark but she would get plenty of help from her supporting cast.

Meg Frank finished the match with five kills and five blocks. Reese Schroeder, Farragut’s libero, had 24 digs and 15 assists. Alexis Cosey finished with four blocks.

Farragut used two setters, Megan Carlton and Ashley Hilbelink, and both put the Lady Admirals’ hitters in good position. Hilbelink had 62 assists while Carlton finished with 56.

Cosey, Farragut’s other senior, said the victory was a total team effort.

“We had to have everybody communicating,” she said. “Without our players, we can’t make the plays.