The Felicity Lady Cardinals volleyball team returned to Mariemont High School last Saturday for their third postseason match. This time, the team squared off against the Miami Valley Christian Academy Lions.
Felicity kept the first set close. The team led briefly at 5-3 early, but eventually MVCA pulled in front 12-10. After the Lady Cardinals rallied to tie the game, MVCA went on a 7-2 run, sparking Felicity head coach Damon Smith to call a timeout.
Felicity pulled back within three at 20-17, but got no closer. The Lady Lions would win the first set of the match 25-19.
Smith said the position his team was in forced them to play perfectly and may have messed with their head a bit, as they could not make a mistake in the match.
“It’s such a momentum thing,” Smith said. “When you get down two or three points against a good team, especially when they’re up to 21, 22 points, it’s hard. It becomes psychological, you know that if you make a mistake the game is over.”
The Lady Cardinals came back for a second set that turned into an epic battle. The teams were tied six times with each team holding multiple leads. When the dust settled, MVCA squeaked out a 28-26 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set was not as close. MVCA turned a 13-8 lead into a commanding 18-9 margin and won the set 25-13. The Lady Lions also took the match 3-0.
Smith noted it was difficult to rally from a 2-0 deficit, especially when you are missing one of your better players, but nonetheless he was still happy with his team’s performance.
“I’m proud of what they did,” Smith said. “When you’re down 2-0 going into the third game it’s hard, but they kept their heads up. We lost to a good team, they were better than us today. I don’t have that strong power hitter that they do and we missed it today but they have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Smith also noted his team did not give up in a game he did not expect to even be playing.
“They fought,” Smith said. “We shouldn’t have even been in this game, to be honest. I didn’t think we’d make it this far going in. They showed a lot of poise, a lot of character. We just didn’t get the breaks that we needed.”
Even though the team lost the match in three sets, Smith believes his team may have given MVCA more of a battle than the Lady Lions thought they were going to get.
“I think we surprised them a little bit. They knew that one of our better players was out and I think they came in thinking they were going to pound us and it didn’t happen. I thought we were going to pull that second set out. That would’ve been a boost to the ego, but it didn’t happen. I’m proud of them, they accomplished a lot this year.”