Flagler Volleyball entered action last Tuesday with their season winding down and a chance to knock off a team that has become a thorn in their side.
The Lady Saints traveled to Lynn University carrying momentum from a 4-1 weekend at home. The Fighting Knights, however, stalled the Lady Saints’ progress, defeating them 3-1 (30-23, 30-27, 24-30, 30-27). It was the second time this year that Flagler lost to Lynn. Both matches went four games.
It appears that Lynn (10-10) is a hurdle the Lady Saints (19-12) need to get over before they reach the next level. Lynn is currently in seventh place in the highly competitive Sunshine State Conference.
“We just haven’t been successful against them this year, ” sophomore Leah Melton said. “We’re definitely a better team. We have more talent. Every time we seem to play them we kind of brain fart.” She added that the team dug themselves a hole with a slow start and, although they got stronger at the end of the match, it was too late.
“Lynn is just really consistent,” coach Taylor Mott said. “I think that’s what our problem all year long has been. We’re just not consistent and it’s hard for us to string together big runs of points.” Mott added that while Lynn isn’t overpowering, they also don’t make many mistakes.
“It’s just a matter of we need to be more consistent if we’re going to beat any of these teams,” she said.
Mott said that inconsistent hitting hindered her team throughout the match and caused Lynn to have opportunities to go on four and five point runs. In the first game Flagler hit a negative .073 and followed with a weak .129 in the second game. They hit an impressive .255 in the third game, but by that point, the 2-0 hole was too much to overcome.
“We just made too many errors to get into a rhythm,” Mott said. “We had to work really hard to get the points, but then we gave them back really easy.”
“They’re good,” Burkhardt said. “I don’t think that they’re any better than us. They’re not anything that we can’t handle. We need to work on being aggressive and focusing on putting the other team away, not just going through the motions.” Burkhardt said that she didn’t think that the team had the intensity they needed to have and that competitiveness may have been the difference.
“The one thing that my team hasn’t done this year, and I give them a lot of credit, we have not played down to the level [of our competition],” Mott said. “So when we’re playing a team that’s not as good as we are we have not been playing to their level. We still play at a high level. In years past we’ve had teams that play at low levels. This year we definitely haven’t. We’ve taken care of business, most of the time, in three games.”
The win was the 20th of the season for Flagler. It is the sixth consecutive season that Mott’s squad has won 20.
The Lady Saints were able to get most of their players time on the court during the match.
“It’s good so that everyone can get to see the ball,” Burkhardt said. “That builds confidence in everyone, not just the starting six.”
“We knew that we had beaten them before,” Melton said. “You never want to go in overconfident but we knew we could take it. We went out there and took care of it. Especially after that loss to Lynn, we really wanted that match.” Melton said that matches against lower competition have their ups and downs.
“They’re good for confidence but at the same time they don’t force you to be any better, to be any stronger,” she said.
With just nine matches left the Lady Saints can see the finish line on a long season.
“I just want to carry momentum into the end of the season,” Mott said. I think we’ve given up several matches that we shouldn’t have lost. In my opinion we’ve only beaten one or two teams that we shouldn’t have. The rest of them, we’ve won the ones we should have and we’ve lost the ones we should have.”