Outmuscling and overpowering their opponent, the 12th-seeded Fontainebleau Bulldogs defeated No. 21 Lafayette 3-0 in a Division I volleyball bidistrict playoff game Wednesday.
The Bulldogs won 25-15, 25-21, 25-22. With the win, Fontainebleau (28-18) hits the road to take on fifth-seeded H.L. Bourgeois, which received a first-round bye.
The Bulldogs were led by Rachel Moynan’s 10 kills. Christine Kuglemann had seven kills, Tiffany Marlbrough had 15 digs and Emily Campbell had 18 assists in the win.
“We stayed together as a team when (Lafayette) went on their runs,” Kugelmann said. “We have worked our way from the bottom at the early part of this season, to now we are playing our best volleyball. That is what you want to be doing when you hit the playoffs.”
Never trailing in the opening game, Fontainebleau raced out to a quick 16-8 lead. A 6-0 Lafayette run put the Lions to as close as 16-14, but the Bulldogs responded by scoring nine of the final 10 points of the game to take a 1-0 lead.
Riding the opening-game momentum, Fontainebleau again relied on a run, this time a 6-1 one in Game 2 to take a 14-9 lead. As was the case in the first game, Fontainebleau also fought off a late Lafayette rally. The game got as close as 24-21 before the Bulldogs closed.
Relying on a 6-1 run midway through the third game, Fontainebleau staved off the strongest Lafayette rally.
“It was a good match for both teams,” Fontainebleau coach Kaci Mule said. “We have a very young squad that is continuing to learn how to adapt and play in tough-game situations, and tonight we got to earn even more experience, which is going to help us. We pushed when we needed to, and we were able to absorb (Lafayette’s) best punch. We stopped their runs.
“Our girls have really grown up a lot these last two months. You are talking about a team whose setters are freshman and sophomores. They are not use to these situations.”
Lafayette (11-17) was led by Moesha Alleyne’s 10 kills. Madison Poen had eight kills and 11 assists and Sydney Balfa had a pair of aces.
“We started off slow and got better as the game continued on,” Lions coach Cathy Poole said. “You have to give credit to Fontainebleau. Their ball movement was fantastic and kept us off guard all game long. We were able to improve some things in the second game, and we made our run in the third game but it was just too little, too late.”