Falcons Blanked By Dutchmen in C'Wealth Championship
Despite a strong performance from key players, the Falcons' efforts weren't enough Saturday night as the Commonwealth Championship went to the Dutchmen.
By Ben Bovenzi Gomessiah.com Reporter
Grantham, PA —The 2011 Falcons' dreams of a Commonwealth Championship were thwarted Saturday evening by Lebanon Valley College. Despite a heated three-set match, the Falcons couldn't overcome the Dutchmen, falling by a score of 3-0 (24-26, 21-25, 23-25).
“They (LVC) came to win,” said Messiah head coach Judi Tobias, who in her 16th season coached the Falcons into the conference finals for the first time in her career. “They came out very confidently and I felt we came out a little more tentatively, a little more on our heels and not with the confidence we had when we played them earlier this season.”
The Falcons (25-6) were led by the play of junior Lauren Rees (11 kills, 11 digs), senior Megan Wise (24 digs) and sophomore Jess Geib (26 assists), although it wasn’t enough to fight off the Dutchmen who aced Messiah nine times and recorded 77 total digs in the LVC (22-9) victory.
“It’s very hard to put the ball away against them” Tobias said. “They’re very strong defensively and cover their bases extremely well. We gave a lot of serves away which was tough but it was very obvious that LVC had the confidence and the experience to win at this level.”
Despite the loss, the Messiah squad has a lot to be proud of in regards to this impressive season. This year marks the first time in program history that the Falcons were undefeated in the Commonwealth and the first time that Messiah made it to conference final since the 1977 season.
“I think this was a great experience for the end to an amazing season,” Tobias stated. “It’s a step forward. This program has never, in 34 years, been in the finals, and it’s been a blessing to have this opportunity.”
This final loss to LVC in the championship will unofficially end the Falcons’ season as there is still a chance that Messiah will qualify for the NCAA tournament, considering their phenomenal season and strong overall record.
“It’s frustrating to have lost, but we have an outside chance to make it to the tournament, we’ll know for sure Monday morning” Tobias said. “It would only be icing on the cake on what has proved to be a most memorable and unforgettable season.”