HUBER HEIGHTS — The Lady Warriors volleyball team defeated Fairborn in four sets on Wednesday, Oct. 7 after defeating the Xenia Bucs the evening before.
“This was a game I was looking forward to and my team was as well,” said Coach John Herzer. “They beat us earlier in the year and I thought at the time we were the better team when we lost. I tweaked my lineup a bit from the first time we got together. Having played an emotional match the night before had me a little concerned. I was hoping to start strong but I could see the focus of my girls was pretty good. There was some fatigue there…”
The Lady Warriors started out this match on fire. Wayne started out serving aggressively and took an early and commanding lead. They were up 9-3 after the third server and continued that by having scores of 17-6 and 21-9 before putting set one away 25-12.
“Fairborn simply could not get any rhythm as they had three total kills in that set,” said Coach Herzer. “My girls completely took them out of their game.”
In set two, Fairborn took an early 5-0 lead and eventually stretched that lead to 24-20 with Akaila Howard coming up to serve. Howard started off with an ace and eventually had the score knotted at 24. Fairborn managed a sideout and Wayne had a miscommunication and a hitting error, according to Herzer, to give Fairborn set two, 26-24.
In set three, no team had more than a three point lead at any time. Wayne led 22 -19 lead before Fairborn tied it at 23. Both teams then traded points to knot it again at 24. Sydney Herzer then served an ace to take the one point lead. The next serve resulted in a good pass from Fairborn and they tried to set up their outside, but Taylor Rice and Maya Dunson stuffed her swing to give Wayne a thrilling 26-24 victory in set two,” according to Herzer.
Herzer said he noticed that Fairborn expended so much energy in set three and come up short and were very deflated. The set opened up and we were tied 2-2 when Tyson started her serve. Herzer noticed one of their players was just exhausted and we decided to key in on her. Tyson ran off 10 straight serves with several aces in between.
Fairborn tried icing Tyson with a timeout and position their defense.
“They moved their left back and I just had Tyson serve that position time after time,” said Herzer. “Even when they could get the ball up it was out of system and they generally gave us a free ball over and we would convert that into instant points. Tyson ended with an error but I will take that any day of the week. When she was finished serving we were up 13-3 and never looked back.”
The teams traded the next 20 points and Wayne had a 23-13 lead with Kayla Stephens coming up to serve. Her first serve was an ace and Wayne finished the game with Fairborn never gaining control of her serve, winning 25-13.
“I was thrilled for my girls tonight,” said Coach Herzer. “They were looking forward to this and maintained their focus throughout this match. We really took the will out of them tonight and we never took our foot off the pedal to finish off this match. We outplayed them in all phases of the game.”
Wayne was led on the evening by Howard with 20 kills. Katelyn Hill added 11. Tyson Kinnel led on the night with eight aces, while Stephens and Sydney Herzer had five each.
“As a team we had 15 service errors tonight,” said Coach Herzer. “I’m not thrilled with that, but when you add we served aggressively and then the fatigue factor from games back to back nights, I can’t complain too much.”
Dunson added 31 assists. Morgan Santos led with 17 digs and Sydney Herzer added 15. Wayne had six blocks as a team and Dunson led with two.
The GWOC tournament will continue through next week with traveling to Springfield on Tuesday and finishing off the tournament against Greenville at home on Oct. 15.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.