Thursday, November 7, 2013
It took five hard-fought sets to knock Fox Creek’s volleyball team out of the playoffs. The Predators (15-5) fell to Brashier Middle College Charter High School (13-5) at Riverview Park Activities Center by set scores of 23-25, 25-16, 25-16, 19-25 and 10-15.
“It was a fight all the way, everybody was scrapping for points,” Clay Bryant, Fox Creek’s head coach, said. “In the end, we just fell behind.”
Team captain and one of two seniors on the team, Morgan Williams, echoed the words of her coach.
“It was a hard fought match, we gave everything we had,” she said. “We just weren’t able to come out on top.”
In the first set, Brashier went up 10-1 to take an early advantage. The Predators were able to come back and tie the match at 23 behind the play of Williams and Rachel Simmons, before falling 23-25. The next two sets saw Fox Creek dominate to win each set 25-16, although they were unable to win either of the final two sets.
“Unfortunately, this ends our season,” Bryant said. “We graduate Morgan and Heather Bowden off the varsity team. We’re going to have to move on to next year a little earlier than we wanted to.”
While the loss ended Williams’ volleyball career at Fox Creek, she is excited about what her teammates will accomplish going forward without her.
“Coming into this season, we were a very young team,” she said. “We had a lot to develop this season. They have a lot of potential and have come a long way. I think the experience of this year will help them down the road, especially next year. They’re going to be stronger next year.”
Bryant, Williams’ coach for the last several years, is thankful for what the senior gave to his team this season.
“I’ve been with Morgan since she was 12 or 13 years old,” Bryant said. “I coached her through her four years at Fox Creek. She’s the first senior to have the same coach all the way through her career here. I’m just proud of what she accomplished this year. She gave this team leadership and worked her butt off to make this team better. It’s hard to see any senior class move on, but Morgan is a special player.”
Bryant returns nearly all of his team next season, and expects them to improve a lot over the offseason.
“We have a lot of upside for next year,” he said. “All of the ladies who played tonight are coming back, except for Morgan. So, we’ve got a lot of talent coming back. We’ve got some things to work on to be the best team in the state, but we’ve got a year to work on them.”
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.