Trojans complete season sweep of conference foes
FORT MADISON — With the Southeast Conference banner already en route to Fairfield, the Trojan volleyball team had a new goal in mind.
“The kids didn’t want to be 7-1 [in conference games],” Fairfield head coach Nancy Diers said. “There’s not a lot of teams that can go through and say they won the conference 8-0, even our own squads.”
With the Trojans’ 16-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23 victory over Fort Madison on Thursday, the current squad can say just that.
Not surprising to Diers, the Trojans had to work for that eighth conference win as they found themselves down early. Fort Madison scored on nine straight points in the first set to claim the win.
“They came out ready to go, and I don’t know if it caught our girls off guard or what, but we could never get any momentum going in game one,” said Diers. “Fort Madison had good floor defense, they hit better than they had earlier in the year and really played a nice game.”
For the most part, the Trojans struggled on attacks the entire night, but serving, serve receive and digs gave them all the edge they would need in the final three games.
The Trojans held the lead from start to finish in the second game, working to their biggest lead of the night at 19-14. Fort Madison came within one at 23-22, but Sydney Burnett took over on serve to close the game out.
The Bloodhounds took the early lead in set three, but the Trojans scored nine of the final 14 points for the win. And in the fourth and final game, Fairfield and Fort Madison traded blows until the Trojans again came up clutch to grab the final three points.
“To our girls credit they had the tenacity and courage to come back and play,” said Diers. “Once again, everything was close, which was to our advantage because we’ve played close games all season.”
Sydney Howard led the Trojans from the net going 36-of-41 on attacks with 12 kills. Erin Thompson tallied 11 kills and five blocks and Sidney Baumann had eight kills. Hanna Greiner finished with a team-high five blocks, three solos, and Marisa Repp totaled three blocks.
Cheyanne Laux led from the back row with 22 digs, while Burnett dug up 15 balls and supplied 25 assists.
Although the matchup was often a tussle, Diers said it was just the battle the Trojans needed as they head into the first round of regional volleyball scheduled next Monday vs. Knoxville.
“Fort Madison really made our kids bring their game up to a new level. They really challenged us, which is a good thing at this part of the season,” said Diers.
Fairfield vs. Fort Madison
FAIRFIELD — 16, 25, 25, 25
FORT MADISON — 25, 22, 21, 23
DIGS — (FF) Laux 22, Howard 16, Burnett 15, Baumann 12, Thompson 10, Payne 4, Repp 3, Greiner 2, Ledger 1, Ring 1, Manning 1
SERVING — (FF) Burnett 16-16 (1), Thompson 14-15 (1), Ring 11-14 (1), Baumann 23-23, Howard 9-10, Laux 9-9, Manning 2-3
ATTACKS — (FF) Howard 36-41 (12), Thompson 27-33 (11), Baumann 33-47 (8), Repp 24-29 (7), Greiner 10-15 (2), Ledger 7-8 (1), Ring 2-4 (1), Laux 1-1, Payne 1-1, Burnett 1-3
ASSISTS — (FF) Burnett 25, Ring 11, Repp 1, Ledger 1
BLOCKS (solo-asst-tot) — Greiner 3-5-8, Thompson 0-5-5, Repp 1-2-3, Howard 1-0-1, Ledger 0-1-1, Stever 0-1-1
SERVE RECEIVE — Laux 28-35, Baumann 11-14, Howard 9-15, Payne 4-4, Greiner 0-1, Manning 0-1
JV, freshman teams conclude season
FORT MADISON — The Fairfield JV volleyball team capped its undefeated season in the Southeast Conference with a two-game sweep of Fort Madison Thursday.
The JV squad beat the Bloodhounds 25-17, 25-9 to finish 8-0 in the SEC and 15-14 overall.
Karley Williams led the Trojans with seven kills and six digs. Erica Winslow chipped in eight assists, six digs and two aces. Valerie Payne finished with five digs and two aces and Seaira Drish had three assists. Jolea Burkhart and Leah Browning also fired off two ace serves apiece, while McKenna Ledger came through with one block.
In ninth-grade action, Fort Madison won 25-18, 22-25, 15-11 to deny the Trojans a perfect mark in SEC play.
Leading hitters for Fairfield were Alli Deao with six kills, and Delaney Neil and Molly Ryan with four kills apiece. Mackenzi Harwood was 28-of-29 on attacks, while Kelsey Roberts supplied seven assists.
From the back row, Mackenzie Flattery totaled 27 digs, Harwood tallied 23 and Deao had 17 digs.
The freshmen finished the season with a 7-1 mark in the SEC and 18-6 record overall.