FAIRBORN — The Lady Warriors volleyball team was looking forward to the postseason to get started on Monday night, Oct 19. The Warriors had not won a sectional tournament game in at least 10 years, but changed that with a 24-26, 25-14, 26-24 and 25-21 victory against Fairborn.
In set one, Wayne ran out to a quick 10-2 lead and a 14-6 lead before the tide started to change. Weayne had some uncharacteristic unforced errors to trail 19-18. The two teams battled to a 24-24 deadlock, Wayne hit one long and then a miscommunication on set point gave Fairborn set one 26-24.
In the second set, Wayne led 13-4 enroute to a lopsided 25-14 victory. In set three, Fairborn led 14-12 and 18-14 and 24-21 threatening to win the set. However Amaya Howard had other ideas as Wayne gained serve with a thunderous kill from Amaya’s sister Akaila Howard, according to Coach John Herzer.
“Amaya can control a game with her serve and I was hoping for this at this time,” said Herzer.
Amaya Howard rung off the first two points with her serve and misplays by Fairborn to cut the lead to 24-23. Fairborn then called a timeout.
“I told Amaya as she was leaving the huddle that we needed an ace right now,” said Herzer. “Amaya did not disappoint. She gave one of her patented float serves and the score was knotted at 24.”
Amaya Howard’s next serve was controlled by Fairborn and when they set the ball outside Marisa Underwood probably had the biggest block of her career giving Wayne a 25-24 lead, accortding to Herzer. With Amaya Howard’s next serve, Fairborn could not gain ball control and free balled the ball over. This was easily converted into a kill by Akaila Howard and the Warriors won set three 26-24.
In set four, Wayne led 14-6 and 18-12 before winning 25-21 and Wayne accomplished their goal of winning their first sectional game.
“To watch my girls celebrate after the end of that game is something I won’t soon forget,” said Herzer. “I am thankful I have that on tape. These are the moments you coach for.”
Coach Herzer commended Fairborn.
“I honestly thought they had set three in hand,” he said. “My girls did not quit, they picked one another up all night long and they simply refused to let a ball hit the floor at the end of that set. Knowing you have to earn five successive points with no errors in volleyball is not an easy task. They have some good players over there too and it was nice to see my girls come together at just that time. Every point there was nothing but encouragement on the floor to go get the next one.”
The Warriors were led on the evening by Akaila Howard with 20 kills, Maya Dunson with 10 and Katelyn Hill with six.
Amaya Howard led Wayne with 10 aces, Kayla Stephens had four and Sydney Herzer added three.
Dunson added 26 assists. Morgan Santos and Sydney Herzer led Wayne with 10 and nine digs respectively.
Wayne gave up 11 aces.
“Fairborn has the number one server in GWOC in Kennedy Brown and I think for the most part we handled her pretty well,” said Herzer. “This was a complete and utter team effort tonight and they were just fun to watch.”