Falcons recover from opening-set stumble, defeat Foothill in four to advance

photo by Skip Zinn
photo by Skip Zinn

Maybe it was playoff jitters, or perhaps just not quite being warmed up.  Whatever it was that cost the Falcons the opening set in their round 1 playoff match against Foothill on Tuesday night, they made the correction and won the next three sets to earn the victory, 21-25, 25-21, 25-12, 27-25.  The #12 seeded Owls had big hitters and looked very capable of pulling off an upset over the #5 seed Falcons, especially after winning that first set.  But Falcon coach Molly Hanrahan made some adjustments, and defensive specialist Madi Pearce started digging almost everything the Owls crushed, resulting in a close win in set two and an easy win in set three.  Caitlin Dillon, after a shaky start, found her rhythm and, along with Julin Kenison, punished the Owls with massive kills to propel the Falcons to a very close win in set four for the match victory.   

The Falcons (22-5) now advance to face rival and Big 8 Conference champion American River (23-7) on Saturday night for a trip to the State Championship in San Diego.  Saturday's match will be played at American River College starting at 6:00 pm.