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.