BUTNER — Roxboro Community pulled out a 3-1 upset win over defending state champions and league leading Falls Lake Academy in Butner Monday night. The Lady Bulldogs dropped the first set, but captured the next three to claim the victory, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20.
“Tonight was tough,” Falls Lake head coach Corrinna Sammons said after the loss. “We are struggling right now with key players out due to injuries, which is horrible anytime, but tonight definitely made an impact on the vibe on the floor against a program who always shows up to compete.”
Roxboro Community started the first set in grand fashion with Kayleigh Gentry serving up an ace and Grace Hawkins supplying a tip at the net for a 4-2 lead. The Lady Bulldogs picked up a big block by Brenna Winstead and Maci Clark to extend their advantage to 9-4.
Chase Teal and the Lady Firebirds responded with big plays at the net. Morgan Newton found an opening and sliced a ball in for a Falls Lake point. Macey Sammons came to life midway through the first set with a kill to give Falls Lake a 15-12 lead. Halie Carroll then slipped an ace across the net to extend the lead. Teal and Sammons continued to score for the Lady Firebirds and Sammons closed the first set with a kill.
The next three sets were close, but Roxboro Community won all of them to head home with the win.
“We know teams want to beat us as defending state champions, and this was a reminder that we have to stay purposeful and intentional in everything we do,” Sammons said. “Losing is never easy, especially against Roxboro Community School, who we consider our conference rivals, but tonight they showed up and they were hungry for the win and won.”
Despite the loss, Sammons found a bright spot for the Lady Firebirds.
“Our two junior varsity players, Kennedy Teasley and Chloe Carpenter, stepped up tonight. They played well in a match that was fast paced and higher level than they’ve played at the junior varsity level,” Sammons said. “They both have tremendous potential and are an asset to our program. I look forward to watching these two grow as players.
“With only two of my five starters playing, the adjustments in our lineup has pushed some of these girls into different roles, positions and playing more rotations,” Sammons added. “Our program is built on developing and strengthening the player to be all positions in essence training and coaching them to be utility players, so when we’re in situations like this with injuries we can move players around who are not single skilled/positional leaving us without options and the ability to compete.”
The Lady Firebirds fell to 15-3 overall and 10-1 in conference play. Falls Lake travels to Franklinton on Monday for a non-conference match and travels to Henderson Collegiate Wednesday. A showdown with Voyager is set for Friday, Oct. 18 in Durham.
The Lady Firebirds will look to get back on track in these matches.
“We’ll be fine. It is just a matter of getting back to healthy with our starters who are out and getting geared up for postseason,” Sammons said.
Roxboro Community moved to 9-8 on the season and 7-4 in conference play.
The Lady Bulldogs will host Henderson Collegiate on Monday and Voyager on Wednesday.