For the Lady Falcons, the key to winning tonight’s playoff game is simple — play their game.
“The key to victory will simply be playing our normal game,” Forest Lake Christian girls volleyball head coach Travis Smith said. “If we get our hitters involved, find our rhythm and if we play our game, there is nobody in the section better than us.”
The No. 12 seeded Forest Lake Christian team is coming off its first-round sweep of No. 5 seed Holt Academy and will take on No. 13 seeded Vacaville Christian tonight in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs.
Vacaville Christian (19-8, 9-3 Sierra Delta League) is coming off an upset win over No. 4 seed Big Valley Christian.
The Lady Falcons (19-6, 10-2 Central Valley California League) and Vacaville Christian, also the Lady Falcons, have met once already this season at the Carmichael Invitational Tournament where FLC won in straight sets.
“The advantage is we know exactly what they got,” Smith said. “The disadvantage is once we know we can beat a team, we tend to play down a bit.”
In that game, FLC’s Emily Woodward had 10 blocks, and Morgan Koch notched 10 kills and four blocks.
Smith said he was confident his team can advance to the next round as long as it plays to its potential.
Forest Lake Christian boasts several talented players, including Koch, who leads the team in kills, Emily Pearce, who leads the team in assists, Woodward, who offers a solid blocking option at the net, and Aly English, who does it all.
“(English) has really stepped it up and has really turned her serves on,” said Smith.
English is second on the team in kills and assists and is leading the team in aces for the second part of the season.
“Vacaville knows they don’t have the weapons we do,” Smith said. “They will have to use everything in their arsenal to play with us.”
Smith said playing at home never hurts either. The Forest Lake Christian crowd should be loud and provide energy the girls can feed off of, said Smith.
FLC last won a section title in 1998 and made it to the section finals from 1999-2003 only to lose to Ripon Christian each time.
“The girls are very excited,” Smith said. “They know that we have the first shot in a long time to win a section championship. They know its theirs to lose.”
Forest Lake Christian continues its quest back to the section championship game at 7 p.m. today on its home court.
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford call (530) 477-4232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org