All-Met Sports, The Washington Post

Flint Hill ‘figures it out’ in five-set win over Madison

Krissy O’Malley arrived at Flint Hill on Wednesday in a good mood. True, O’Malley and her volleyball teammates withstood a tough loss to Langley last weekend, but the team appeared to hit its stride in defeat. O’Malley was eager to get back on the court, to fly around and dive to save dropping shots.

“That’s my favorite part of the game,” she said, “to be able to dive everywhere and own the play.”

Behind 50 assists from O’Malley on Wednesday, the Huskies rallied for a wild five-set win over perennial contender Madison, 25-14, 12-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-9.

“We got a little sloppy early on just because we got so competitive,” she said. “Then we cleaned it up.”

Flint Hill used a 13-6 run to close out the first set behind strong serving from Carly Middleton and and Izzie O’Bryan . O’Malley assisted on all seven kills during that spree.

But Madison rallied back to grab the next two games, pounding the Huskies’ back line with powerful hitting and crisp passing.

Junior outside hitter Kelsey Smith had 10 of her 23 kills in those two sets. Setter Gabby Rogers had 20 of her 39 assists for the Warhawks.

Between sets, O’Malley’s frustration was evident. Huskies’ Coach Carrol DeNure said before the game her team was in search of leader after losing star hitter Morgan McKnight from last year’s team. In O’Malley, DeNure said, she may have found one.

“We tell them all the time, if you play with confidence, you can play with anybody,” DeNure said. “Now they know that they can do it, and so much of our battle in the past has been self-confidence.”

Freshman outside hitter Sydney Reed served an eight-point run, one that started with a kill assisted by O’Malley, to put the fourth set out of reach. In the fifth, O’Malley found Reed for four more kills on the way to a team-high 17.

She found Reed for a tip over the block to cut a five-point Madison run in the final set. Those are the kind of plays DeNure said she’s been waiting for her team to make.

“Yeah, a power shot is fun, but it’s not always the right play,” Reed said.

DeNure reveled in that sentiment afterward. She told her team to do so as well. It’s not every day you pull out a win like this.

“Tonight was huge for us,” she said. “They figured it out.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/highschools/flint-hill-figures-it-out-in-five-set-win-over-madison/2016/09/21/ae71fbda-8028-11e6-b002-307601806392_story.html

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