Fossil holding their second place trophy.
Fossil holding their second place trophy.
Sophie Webb

It was almost theirs: Fossil loses State Championship game


Fossil Ridge High School competes against Valor Christian High School in the 5A State Championship for girls volleyball. They played earlier in the season and Fossil had the floor swept from them in a 0-3 match, but in a five-set game for the State Championship Fossil lost. 

Valor Christian started off strong, after all, they were the state champions last year. Fossil was forced to call a timeout 5-9. Valor continued to excel but began to make mistakes. Their hits in the net or out of bounds, and Fossil took this and used it. 

Valor maintained a tight lead but then the score was tied. Fossil’s serve receive was clean while their attacks were strong. Valor called a timeout 21-19, but they were too late, Fossil was on their winning streak. 

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Fossil won the first set 25-21.

Kaylee Piepho serving. (Sophie Webb)

Fossil continued to play scrappy and do what it took to win the point. Erin Herrmann and Emery Johnson continuously passed, set, and killed the ball down in this set, but everyone on the court was needed to get the next point. 

The Eagles kept a lead and would not let it up. In an attempt to strategize and freeze out the server, Fossil called a timeout 8-12. 

This worked briefly as Fossil came back enough to scare Valor into calling a timeout 14-15. No matter what the Sabercats were doing Valor did it better and there were a couple of lost points due to small errors on the Sabercats’ side, but this was the State Championship, there was no room for errors. Fossil ended up losing 16-25. 

Valor used their past win to excel at the beginning of the third set while the Sabercats were still trying to recover from their loss. Both teams fought and kept the score within three points of each other. 

Then the small errors for Ridge became larger and larger, Fossil called a timeout 13-16. No matter what plays or players Fossil was using they could not compete with Valor. For the rest of the set, they never made another point despite the timeout called 13-22. Fossil lost the set 13-25. 

Despite Valor’s lead in the first set, Fossil came back hot. Kaiser was digging up every ball hit at her and Herrmann was a wall, Valor called a timeout 9-6. Even though the score was close it was Fossil’s game.

Every player was making dives while Kaylee Piepho would set up crushing kills. Fossil was doing everything to keep the ball up but that would soon not be the case since Valor was making their own errors.

Ewing sisters blocking together. (Sophie Webb)

Olivia Ewing was a hot source for the kills and helped Fossil stay ahead. Along Ewing’s side, her sister Delaney was also producing killing hits. 

Fossil had their lead, they had the game. Valor called a timeout 19-11, but they were too far behind to catch up. Although Valor did start to come back enough for Fossil to call a timeout 24-18, it was not enough. Fossil took the set 25-19.

The first point of the final set was grueling, an extensive rally, neither team willing to back down. Valor ended up winning the point, but one point meant nothing to the Sabercats.

Herrmann shut down every ball that hit her hands. Piepho was a machine, serving a perfect float serve. Ridge was trying to win while Valor was trying not to lose, the Eagles called a timeout 8-6. 

Valor won the next two points but Fossil was determined to take the match. Valor called another timeout 11-8, but Fossil held the lead. Adrenaline was high in the court and the Eagles took their opportunity to pounce and they tied it 12-12, Fossil called a timeout.

The Eagles took the next two points and Fossil called another timeout. It wasn’t enough. The Eagles took on another State Championship, Fossil lost the set 12-15.

The Sabercats consoling each other after devastating loss. (Sophie Webb)

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