Falcons fall in five-game thriller

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By Joe Vaccarelli

Front Range Christian appeared to have things well in hand.

Up two games to none in its Class 2A Mile High League home match against Alexander Dawson, the Falcons were certainly soaring. Alexander Dawson, though, found the reserve to rally and when the final whistle sounded, it was the Mustangs that emerged victorious with a dramatic five-game win 14-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-12 on Oct. 3 at Front Range Christian High School.

It looked like it was going to be a laugher, especially after the first game, when the Falcons dominated behind the great serves of Alison Harte and the big kills of Kendall Marine.

Alexander Dawson looked like they were going to even the match in the second game, jumping out to a 20-14 lead behind the big blocks of freshman Emma Griffey, but the Mustangs couldn’t close out, as the Falcons won 11 of the last 13 points of the game.

Many of the points served by Kaylie Dueck, one of the bigger hitters on the team and one of the bright spots on this day.

“I feel I had a good serving game but all in all we play as one,” said Dueck, who had 12 digs, 15 assists and 11 kills.

The third and fourth games were see-saw battles, much like the second. But unlike the second game, the Falcons were unable to finish their comeback, even when it looked like the might repeat the feat of the second game when Dueck’s serves brought them back from a 20-14 deficit to 20-19.

This time, however, the Mustangs responded after a timeout and won the next five points to close the set.

“The big thing for Dawson, they just came out and started hitting. The first two games that we won, they weren’t hitting,” Falcon coach Tina Anderson said.

The fourth set was controlled by the big hitters of Alexander Dawson, Michelle Betsinger and Ashton Collins, who were able to finish a lot of hits, and Kaila VanAkkeren had several tough serves that Front Range had trouble controlling.

The fifth game was very close, but after breaking out with a 10-7 lead, the Falcons ran out of gas and had no more answers for the Mustangs, dropping the fifth game 15-12.

For Front Range, the loss drops them to 9-6 overall and 4-2 in the Mile High League. But they’re not getting down.

“You know, they’ll come back.” Anderson said. “We’ve had much worse losses.”

The Falcons played the game without senior mid-hitter Emily Mathews. Freshman Kinsey Marine played in her place.

Marine finished with 16 kills and 11 assists, while Whitnee Sherman had 10 digs, 3 aces and 4 kills.

Next up for the Falcons is a road game versus Nederland on Oct. 9.