VANDALIA — The Fairborn volleyball team was looking forward to a tournament game against Springboro on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the Skyhawks forgot they had to play Springfield first.
The 15th-seeded Wildcats jumped out to quick lead in the first set and Fairborn really never gained any steam in an 18-25, 18-25, 25-19, 17-25 loss in a Division I sectional Oct. 17 inside the Butler High School Student Activity Center.
“Energy was not there,” coach Tiffany Andrews said. “They had already been talking about playing (second-seeded) Springboro.”
Andrews was so concerned about focus that she even had her team devote a practice to seizing momentum and making a run.
After falling behind 6-0 and then 11-4 in the first set, the 14th-seeded Skyhawks clawed back to tie it at 13-all. But it was the Wildcats who went on a run to jump ahead 1-0 in the best-of-five match. Fairborn jumped ahead 5-2 in game two, but Springfield managed to gain a 6-6 tie after one of 13 service errors by Fairborn. Springfield then methodically pulled away from there to go up 2-0 after two games.
Fairborn began to resemble the team which had won four of five to end the season, jumping out to an 11-6 lead, while never letting Springfield (5-18) mount an attack, in taking the third set. But the surge was short-lived as Springfield turned a 6-6 fourth set into a 12-6 lead and ultimately the match.
“It was sparks of greatness rather than continuous,” Andrews said. “It just could not translate into any momentum. Momentum is key in volleyball. That’s been a lot of our problems. When a team goes on a run, getting that momentum stopped. If we’re smoking a team, we’re good. If a team puts up a fight, you never know what you’re going to get.”
In her final match for Fairborn, senior Kayleigh Finlayson had 10 kills and 19 digs and was solid around the net. Elena North and Jessica Black each added four kills for Fairborn, which had 31 in the match.
Fairborn (9-14) was impressive in the back row, recording 70 digs. Libero Hani Sampson had 20, while Zuza Livosky added 13 in her final match. Black also had two blocks.
Other seniors for Fairborn, which won the Greater Western Ohio Conference American South — its first volleyball title as a member of the GWOC — are Eryn Thomas and Madison Blandino.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.