Fairfield slams brakes on flashbacks to win 3A volleyball regional
Posted: 10/24/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Anthony Anderson
And how could they not, given the way this rematch was unfolding?
But those flashbacks didn’t lead to fall-backs, as the Falcons steeled their resolve, displayed their depth and proceeded to nip host Fort Wayne Concordia 25-23, 25-23, 24-26, 25-19 in Tuesday night’s Class 3A regional volleyball championship.
“I just didn’t want to be the one to say it first once we got over here,” Herschberger said of making a reference to what happened a year ago, “but I heard one of our players say this was not going to be like last year, so it was out there, and so I told them in the huddle after we won two games that ‘you’ve won no games so far, because two don’t count unless you can get the third one.’”
A season ago at home, the Falcons won the first two games in this same regional matchup, only to see the Cadets rally to win the final three.
“We didn’t want it go five again,” senior setter Riley Troyer said after racking up 49 assists. “We said in the fourth game that we’ve got to finish it here.”
Junior Sierra Smith did finish it with her 11th kill, setting up a Fairfield pile-up celebration near center-court.
Senior Ellen Line and junior Haley Brown each cranked out 17 kills for the winners and junior Kaela Miller had seven.
“We tried to mix it up as much as we could to keep their blockers kind of wondering,” Line said of the Falcons’ many-pronged attack. “It’s a big bonus that we have a lot of people who can contribute.”
“I can go anywhere and know that they can put (the point) down,” Troyer said of her faith in each of her teammates, “and I can run any set. It’s an awesome feeling.”
The No. 7-ranked Falcons (34-1) earned a spot opposite Andrean (28-7) in Saturday’s Plymouth Semistate semifinals. Top-rated Yorktown (33-3) goes against South Bend St. Joseph (30-6) in the other semi, with survivors returning later in the evening for the title match.
“We have a lot of seniors who really trained hard in the offseason and continued to train hard during the season,” Herschberger said. “(Concordia) has some really good sophomores, but I think us having more ways to attack and being a more mature team than last year was probably the difference tonight. Even early this season, we might’ve folded when they started coming back like that, but we’ve come a long way mentally.”
“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to keep playing,” Troyer said. “We’ve been working so hard for this, and this one tonight is the one we’ve really been working for.”
“We wanted to know what it feels like again,” said Line, who was on Fairfield teams that won the program’s fourth and fifth straight 2A regionals before Concordia snapped the streak last fall upon the Falcons moving up to 3A. “It feels nice to win it again. It feels like it’s been awhile.”
The Cadets finished 23-12, but that includes playing a handful of matches without then-injured super soph, Tionna Williams.
Williams was fine Tuesday, registering 23 kills.
Class 3A Regional
Fairfield def. FW Concordia 25-23, 25-23, 24-26, 25-19
Top Fairfield players: Aces — Kaela Miller 4, Ellen Line 2. Assists — Riley Troyer 49. Kills — Haley Brown 17, Line 17, Sierra Smith 11. Blocks — Brown 7, Miller 4, Kelsey Schiffli 3. Digs — Raina Troyer 24, Miller 20, Line 20.
Records: Fairfield 34-1, Concordia 23-12.
Next: Fairfield vs. Andrean, SB St. Joseph vs. Yorktown Saturday in semifinals of Class 3A Plymouth Semistate, 11 a..m. and following; Championship, 7 p.m.