FLORENCE — There are times in athletics, when you are unable to emerge victorious, all you can do is tip your cap to the opponent and move on.
That is what Florence will try to do after its 3-0 volleyball loss (25-20, 25-14, 25-19) to Round Rock Christian Academy on Tuesday night at home.
The Lady Buffaloes (9-7) had a difficult time solving the tall and lanky Sophia Berg of the Lady Crusaders. Berg caused many headaches both at the net and at the service line, and Florence head coach Jordan Pinson said her play definitely affected the team’s approach.
“A silver lining for us is we got better as the night progressed,” Pinson said. “In the first set, we missed about five or six serves, and we just kind of had that deer-in-the-headlights look because they had No. 14 (Berg) over there, and she’s a good player. She earned just about every single point she got tonight.”
Despite the loss, Pinson, the Lady Buffs’ first-year head coach, said he was proud of the team’s grit Tuesday.
“We fought and we got better,” Pinson said. “The third set, we did what we had to do, and that was a lot of things. If you just get beat, you just get beat, and that’s the way you want to go down.
“That’s going to be the thing — is we kept fighting, we didn’t roll over and we didn’t give up.”
After falling behind 8-4 in the third set, Florence clawed its way back into it and took a 9-8 lead to force Round Rock Christian to call timeout.
With Makenzie Lincoln at the service line, the Lady Buffs scored five straight points thanks in part to Kennedy Cook, who sparked the rally with a kill. Sophie Brittain added a kill of her own during the run, and Lincoln had a service ace.
The Lady Crusaders responded with five straight points to take a 13-9 advantage, but Florence replied with three consecutive points to pull within one.
That was as close as the Lady Buffaloes would get, as Round Rock Christian continued to have an answer for each of their runs, and it went on to win the set by six points and the match in a sweep.
Florence hit .133 as a team with 21 kills, 13 attack errors and zero blocks.
Brittain tallied a team-high five kills for the Lady Buffs, followed by Juana Macedo and Sierra Murphy with four apiece. Brittain added six assists and four aces, and Cook dished out four assists.
Payton Aldrich led Florence defensively with 12 digs.