PITSBURG – It was and exciting match in girls’ volleyball between Franklin Monroe and Bradford that needed the full 5 sets to decide a winner. Bradford won set one 25-15 and set four 25-20 and the Jets set two 25-13 and three 25-21 and eventually the final fifth set 15-13 to get the win.
The Railroaders were fired up in the first game winning it 25-15 and seemed to be in complete control.
“A big thing we’ve been working on this season is energy and excitement,” Bradford volleyball coach Alisha Patty said.
“In our first game we came out and played with energy and excitement to get the win,” Patty added.
But in the 2nd set the Jet’s seemed to find their groove winning it 25-13 which please Franklin Monroe coach Angie Filbrun.
“We came out a little flat and Bradford was ready to play, give them credit,” Filbrun stated.
“Our team is very young this year and I was pleased to see our girls respond in the 2nd and 3rd sets,” Filbrun added.
The Jets would win the 3rd set 25-21 in a closer game.
“Our energy seemed to dwindle in the second and third game and I had to keep reminding them and preach how it’s so much more fun more when we play with excitement,” Patty commented.
The message finally took hold as the Railroaders found a way to keep the ball alive on plays the Jets previously scored and much of that was due to seniors Abby Fike and Rylee Canan as the Railroaders won the set 25-20.
Fike was all over the floor making decisions on where to set and place the ball finding opening in the Franklin Monroe defense.
“She is really good at reading defenses and make good decisions,” FM coach Filbrun said after the match of Fike.
Meanwhile Rylee Canan was quietly doing her thing to help put her team in a position to win points. Canan refused to let the Jets get easy scores something coach Filbrun noted and drew the praise of coach Patty as well.
“Rylee is a ball magnet and I tell her; “be greedy, go after everything,” – she makes such good passes and does good things. When she’s off the floor you can tell sometimes we are a little lost,” Patty said.
“On one rotation when we had someone else serving it makes just that little bit of difference with her not being there, and that can make or break a game,” Patty noted.
That mentality of going after everything by Canan resulted in the senior libero setting a new school record for Bradford with 45 digs in the game.
In the final set the Jets came out and took an early 4-0 lead but Bradford fought back tying it at 6. The two teams battled back and forth with FM taking a 2-point lead a couple of times only to see the Roaders come back squaring it at 13 before the Jets finished the last two points for the 15-13 win.
“In the end there were a few mental errors in that last set that cost us. When you’re playing to 15 instead of 25 they get in your head a little bit,” Patty said.
“But I’m so proud of the girls, it’s probably the best we’ve played all season,” Patty praised.
“Give credit to Franklin Monroe tonight, there coach Angie Filbrun made the changes they needed. They’re young but she has a good team and only going to get better,” Patty noted.
“We have 7 seniors on this team, so I know we can compete with anybody if we come out and play our game with energy, it’s just getting them to realize that and I have 100% faith in them, Patty concluded.
Senior Skylar Bauman had 11 Kills, 19 digs, 13 assists and 58 attack points to lead the Jets. Sadie Bowser had 9 kills, 16 digs and 3 service aces, Rebecca Gilmore had 9 kills and Allie Muhlenkamp had 24 digs for Franklin Monroe.
Bradford was led by the record setting performance from Rylee Canan with 45 digs, Karissa Weldy had 9 kills, Remi Harleman 5 service aces, Abby Fike 14 assists, 7 kills, 19 digs and 48 total attack points.
Bradford fell to 4-9 overall and 2-4 in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference. Franklin Monroe improved to 8-3 overall and 4-1 in the conference.