Mount Pleasant defeats Fairfield in another chapter of rivalryThe Panthers downed the Trojans in four sets
Icona Pop was playing, which meant it was almost game time.
With each passing song the Trojans volleyball team sang more and more as they warmed up. The crowd, containing a student section for the both Fairfield and Mount Pleasant, grew more raucous, anxiously awaiting the impending first serve.
The rivalry clearly has not lost any zest.
Mount Pleasant would eventually get the best of Fairfield in four sets on Thursday, with scores of 25-21, 18-25, 25-23 and 25-22.
“It was the typical Fairfield and Mount Pleasant rivalry to start the season,” Fairfield coach Nancy Diers said. “It was fun, it was aggravating, all of the above.”
The first game went back and forth. Crucial blocks late in the game sealed it for the Panthers. The height advantage Mount Pleasant had was on full display.
“We had a lot of adversity out there,” Mount Pleasant coach Jeff Schulz said. “The girls didn’t let it affect them. They went ahead and did what we had planned. They stuck to the routine.”
After taking set two easily, Fairfield lost a close set three. Set four, however, is the one that hurt the most. Up 16-5, Mount Pleasant launched a 15-4 run to tie the game at 20. The Trojans couldn’t do enough to stop the assault, and would lose the set.
“They just kept chipping away and we made mistakes,” Diers said. “Instead of helping each other out we kind of shutdown.”
The Panthers seemed to come together just at the right moment.
“We had to make sure we didn’t let anything drop,” Mount Pleasant senior Brianne Potts said. “We knew we wouldn’t give up no matter what.”
Potts led the team with 25 digs. Taryne Shull led the Panthers with 10 kills. Kelsi Phipps had nine kills of her own. As for Fairfield, Hannah Greiner and Marisa Repp tied for the team lead in kills with nine. Sydney Burnett had 17 assists and Molly Ryan recorded two blocks.
Overall, the loss was a tough one for the Trojans to swallow.
“That feeling they felt isn’t one they want to feel again,” Diers said. “We showed our growing pains.”
Fairfield gets a full week to practice before traveling to face conference foe Washington.
Diers knows they will have to play better. The serving errors and blocking errors that were repeatedly called against the Trojans hurt them dearly.
She also knows that her team will get another shot to beat Mount Pleasant.
“We’ll see them in conference and in multiple tournaments this season. We’ll play them again,” she said.