LANCASTER — After two tough sets to face Lady Irish strength at the net, Miller’s Lady Falcons showed strong fight in the third set, but fell in a back-and-forth battle on Sept. 15.
The first set was more of a realization for Miller when Fisher Catholic showed their strength at the middle net to get the first point on a kill.
Senior Josie Crabtree showed her skill as an answer with a kill for the 1-1 tie. The Lady Falcons tied again with Alyssa Kiefer at the net blocking Fisher’s kill shots.
In the back row, Taylor Hinkle was getting her feet wet with digging down the kills the Lady Irish had coming from their lefty power on the outside, but with an astounding dig, the kill was powerful enough to bounce right off Hinkle’s arms and head for the net.
At the net, Fisher’s hitters were waiting for the bounce and tapped it right back over to Miller territory in their dead zones.
At the first timeout of the set, Miller was facing the 3-7 score against them.
They gained a little momentum again when Hinkle got a kill for Miller’s sixth point and Miller’s defense was fighting hard to win volleys for their seventh point in the set.
Crabtree was in the back then and couldn’t find comfort in getting her arms loose for the digs of Fisher’s kills because the ball did the same thing off of Crabtree as it did for Hinkle — bounced to the net for the tap to dead ground.
Crabtree was finally back at home at the net to get a couple kills for the eighth and 11th point for Miller, and an ace from senior Alaina Boyden put Miller to the 13-20 score.
Fisher took momentum from there and finished the set after Miller’s tip over the net fell out of bounds and the set score showed 13-25.
The second set was another trial for Miller, but they were on a good run to find out what they could and could not do against Fisher.
The Lady Falcons had leads early on in the set, and libero Jace Agriesti was learning the rhythm of Fisher’s hitters.
With her digs, Miller was leading 5-4. That got in the heads of the Fisher players quickly and they showed signs of miscommunication as they were making mistakes on defense — Miller led 6-5.
The Lady Falcons were quick thinking on defense and winning more long, defensive shows of volleys for the 7-8 lead, but their kills ricocheting off Lady Falcons’ digs were tapped to dead ground again.
At the timeout, Fisher Catholic had the 14-9 lead over Miller.
Crabtree found the blocking pattern to Fisher’s kills, but when they worked around Crabtree, their kills lasered down in the back of Miller territory.
Between Agriesti with an ace and Miller’s blocking defense coming alive, the Lady Falcons caught up in the score for a 16-23 showing on the board.
Miller got their 17th point from a strategic push from Boyden over to the edge, which caused a surprise body toss from Fisher’s libero. Her attempt at the defensive show was not enough as the ball went too far out of bounds.
Fisher did fight back to get their second-set win with a 25-17 score.
The third set was one for the books as Miller was through with Fisher’s kills and annoying tips.
Crabtree was showing how much power she had with a kill early on that was hard enough to knock Fisher’s libero to the ground when they went down for the dig.
With a kill from Boyden and her ace, Miller was down by one point, 2-3.
Crabtree and Olivia Dishon were teamed at the net for blocks for a 5-5 score, and Dishon gained another point at the net for a 6-6 tie.
A block from Hinkle in the middle got Miller to seven points, and Miller’s defense of playing off the gym rafters to win the volley got them the 8-12 score.
Kiefer was a wall at the net again with a block for the ninth point, which helped Miller catch up in the score.
The Lady Falcons tied it again at 13 with a tip over from Boyden and a kill from Kiefer that rolled off the top of the net on Fisher’s side got the Lady Falcons the one-point difference again, 14-15.
A kill from Dishon, a trick push from Crabtree and a tip from Dishon tied the game at 17. The Lady Falcons finally got their lead again at 19-17 and an ace from Crabtree got them the 20-17 lead.
From there, it was back and forth in who would get the point. Fisher would get a kill in every other play for the point, but Crabtree got her kills in there to battle.
With a point for Fisher going on the board, they had the 24-23 score over Miller, but the Lady Falcons tied it with a tip. The 25th point went to Fisher with a hard enough kill to deflect to the gym wall.
Crabtree attempted her power for the 25th point, but Fisher’s athletes at the net were right there to block the shot and get the win with the 26th point over Miller’s 24.