FAIRMONT — The Wayne Warriors traveled to Trent Arena Thursday where they fell in four sets 21-25, 20-25, 26-24 and 22-25 to the Fairmont Firebirds. The girls were looking forward to this match as they just came off of beating Springfield Wildcats on their Senior Night and were hoping for the same result.
Fairmont is one of those teams that is always a top rated team in the area at the end of every year and Coach John Herzer said this matchup would be a good challenge.
“They have an All American playing for them and I told my girls that we know Brooke Westbeld is going to get her kills,” he said. “We won’t worry about that. Let’s just make her earn them tonight.”
Each game was close and when the Firebird’s were able to get Westbeld in the front row she was able to get her kills.
“We held an All American to 16 kills tonight, we blocked several of her attempts and got our hands on numerous others,” said Coach Herzer. “My girls easily earned some respect tonight, not only by Fairmont, but hopefully through all of GWOC.
Coach Herzer said this was the first time Wayne had taken a set from Fairmont since 2010 and said his girls deserve to be recognized for that.
“They took it as a personal challenge to make her night a tough night and we succeeded at that,” said Coach Herzer. “Yes I would like to have won three, but this program is making strides and heading in the right direction. I have a 13-year-old middle going up against a Division one volleyball recruit and an All American on top of that and she handled herself pretty well. Brooke is as strong a hitter that we will play. We knew their offense ran through her and we challenged her all night.”
Coach Herzer said an All American led Fairmont with 16 kills, but Katelyn Hill led Wayne with 12.
“I don’t think Fairmont had a particularly good night of serving but we used that to our advantage,” he said. “This is a game of mistakes and I could see our girls wishing they could do a few things differently. I think and I hope they now realize that we can play with anybody. We may not always win, but the thing I like about this team at the current time is they refuse to quit.”
Herzer indicated that Wayne volleyball has never been looked upon as a stellar program since joining the GWOC.
“The girls in my program today are trying their best to turn that around,” he said. “We have some very, very talented girls and I will lose only two seniors. The JV team is as good as it’s ever been since I have been here, so things are definitely looking up. They may not realize this and I know I probably don’t share this enough with them, but I am very proud of them. It’s an honor to be their coach and I hope they realize what an honor it is for them to put on that Warrior uniform. This team now has the chance to be the winningest team Wayne has had in the last 15 years. I think that is something to be proud of.”
While Hill had 12 kills, Akaila Howard contributed six while Maya Dunson and Marisa Underwood had three each.
Amaya Howard led Wayne with four aces. Maya Dunson led with 13 digs and Morgan Santos added 12. Akaila Howard, Kayla Stephens and Alexa Trusty added two blocks each.
Wayne will host the Centerville Elks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept 29.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com