Trojans top Demons
Fairfield and Washington came into Thursday’s matchup fresh off losses to rival Mt. Pleasant.
“We wanted to come out and play well,” said Fairfield head coach Nancy Diers. “We hadn’t played since Thursday. We played Mt. Pleasant real well, but we lost. We wanted to right the ship.”
The Demons subsequently suffered another defeat to a local foe, falling 3-0.
Fairfield senior Marisa Repp had a game-high eight kills. Senior McKenna and junior Madison Roberts weren’t far behind with six and five, respectively.
Washington (1-8, 0-2) started slow, falling behind 6-0, but answered to make it 10-7. From there Fairfield took 15 of the next 16 points.
“We just talk about these feelings that we have when we go out and start these games strong,” said Washington head coach Julianna Berg. “We are playing crisp and sharp; everyone is executing their job. Then partway through the game it falls apart.”
The Trojans took the first set 25-8 with the game ending on a string of aces from senior Sydney Burnett. She contributed 18 serves in the first set that resulted in points.
“We just tried to pick some seams where kids will have trouble moving to their left or right,” Diers said. “She got on a nice roll. She had good float serves. She has been working on a jump float. We incorporated that. It worked well; the ball was floating. They weren’t able to pass it.”
Burnett dished out a team-high 14 assists in the match.
In the second game, Washington trailed 19-14 before the Trojans scored the final six points. The game point was another ace.
“I thought we served very well tonight, games two and three,” Diers said. “We struggled game one. We let them in the ballgame a little bit. We started strong, but had two or three service errors in a row.”
Fairfield was in the right place at the opportune time all night. It had fluid movement that set up teammates.
“We ran some offense,” she said. “We got some balls set up on the outside. We got to the backside a little bit.”
Fairfield sealed the match with a comfortable 25-5 win. The wide margin allowed Diers to find more playing time for players who don’t normally see the court.
“A lot of our kids got to be in the ballgame tonight,” she said. “We hadn’t had that opportunity to get a lot of rotations in, and get our kids varsity action.”
The Demons still need to clean up their hitting and fundamentals. Right now they’re hurting themselves, which is contagious, according to Berg.
“That feeling that we have when we step off the court … we know that the other team didn’t beat us,” Berg said. “But we lost. We gave them points on unforced errors and silly mistakes, service errors that all add up. We need to keep them from snowballing.”
Putting up a consistent performance across an entire match is a struggle for Washington.
“It’s always take one step forward and two steps back,” Berg said.
The Trojans (3-2, 1-1) blanked a rival and in the process moved up the league standings.
“[The Southeast Conference] is such a small conference anyone is a rival,” Diers said. “Our goal is to be conference champs. To do that, this is a step we had to take.”