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Volleyball: Fairview’s undefeated run halted by Fossil Ridge

Fairview's Audrey Cheng sets up teammate Christine Schmiedeler, but their efforts weren't enough as the Knights suffered their first loss of the season.
Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera
Fairview’s Audrey Cheng sets up teammate Christine Schmiedeler, but their efforts weren’t enough as the Knights suffered their first loss of the season.

 

BOULDER — Last anyone checked, the Fossil Ridge volleyball team still was the defending Front Range League champions.

The SaberCats gave Fairview a harsh reminder of that fact on Thursday night at the Fairview gym. A battle of titans on the court was surprisingly dominated by Bridgette Lococo and her Fossil Ridge teammates, and Fairview’s undefeated run that reached 17 straight games to open the season was finally halted with a 3-1 loss.

A late run in Set 1 was really the only bright spot outside of the cookies and flower bouquets that accompanied Fairview’s senior night at the beginning of the evening. Fossil Ridge’s offense was dynamic all the way through a 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19 match, setting up a three-way tie atop the league with just one match remaining.

“Things can’t always be perfect, and we fought hard no matter what,” said Fairview’s Bailey MacInnis after the Knights were grounded. “They were running fast plays and it was tough for us to deal with. We fought hard, but any team that is playing an undefeated team is going to come out with everything they’ve got … they came out harder than we did.”

Fairview is still obviously in the mix for the league championship and will meet Rocky Mountain — the third in the trio of contenders — on Tuesday night in Fort Collins.

Head coach Brooke Simmons said that the goal now is to try and work Thursday’s loss into the team’s favor.

“We’ve had a great run, 17 in a row, and I think this is going to help us in the end,” Simmons said. “They definitely beat us. They put pressure on us with their serving and their attacking, got us on our heels in the serve-receive and that got us out of system. Their attack was fantastic, really.

“We had some competitive rallies … they won a lot of those long rallies and that helped with the momentum on their side. We’ll come back to the gym tomorrow and have a list of things we can work on for Tuesday.”

The Knights won’t see many offenses quite like Fossil’s. The SaberCats were tough on the serve, and that helped keep Fairview’s players from being able to set up well. Once FRHS (13-5, 10-1 league) earned the ball, they put it down often and with variety.

Four players — Abbie D’Agosta, Anna Breidt, Lococo and Alexa Marcy — finished with double-digit kills. What kept the Knights (17-1, 10-1) honest even more was the attack coming from front-line setters Michelle Gefroh and Brynn Montgomery.

“They were running a 4-2, and it threw us off,” MacInnis said. “I think the next time we see it, we’ll be more ready for it. We didn’t fully realize their potential.”

“This is the first team we’ve played that has attacked quite a bit from the setter position,” Simmons said. “That was a good thing for us to see.”

With that in mind, Fairview was playing catch-up each and every set. Only in Set 1 did they manage to get some of the so-called energy points, rallying from 20-17 down to win 25-20. Audrey Cheng (31 assists) served out that game, and MacInnis had three kills in that stretch to put it away.

Fossil Ridge was not fazed.

“We came out with so much energy, and we wanted to be the ones to give them their first loss,” Lococo said. “We’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time, so we had a lot of energy built up.”

Offensively, Fairview was led with MacInnis’s 16 kills, Christine Schmiedeler’s seven and Caroline Schmiedeler’s six. Christine Schmiedeler had four blocks, combining with Cheng for most of those.

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FOSSIL RIDGE 3, FAIRVIEW 1

At Fairview HS

Fossil Ridge (13-5, 10-1) 20 25 25 25

Fairview (17-1, 10-1) 25 16 16 19

Kills — Fossil Ridge: Marcy 12, D’Agosta 12, Breidt 11, Lococo 10; Fairview: MacInnis 16, Ch. Schmiedeler 7, Ca. Schmiedeler 6.

Blocks — Fairview: Ch. Schmiedeler 4, Cheng 3.

Assists — Fairview: Cheng 31.

Aces — Fossil Ridge: Lococo 4; Fairview: Williams 2, Cheng 2, MacInnis 1.