Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 13, 2017

MP girls upended by No. 15 Fairfield

Sep 27, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Jackie Fraise attempts a kill with the left hand during Tuesday night’s loss to Fairfield.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Mt. Pleasant didn’t make it easy for the 15th-ranked Trojans on Tuesday night. The Panthers kept it tight in the first two sets and even had set point in the second game, but they couldn’t quite reach their mark in a 3-0 loss.

The Trojans won 25-20 in the first set, battled for a 26-24 in the second set and closed the night out with a 25-17 win in the third.

Mt. Pleasant got out of the gate fast in the first set, scoring four of the first five points of the game. Fairfield battled back, however, and held a small lead for the majority of the game.

Mt. Pleasant’s Kalynn Batey and Fairfield’s Alison Godwin traded points midway through the game and the set was tied as late as 14-14. Fairfield scored four points in a row, however, ending with an ace by Ashtyn Drish to give Fairfield an 18-14 lead.

The Panthers started to claw back with a kill from Ashlee Menke and an ace from Anni Liechty, but Mt. Pleasant could never tie the first set back up and the Trojans took the early advantage, 25-20.

Mt. Pleasant was able to hang with the Trojans throughout the second set. The Trojans held a small lead for the majority of the game. The Panthers had two set points in the second half, thanks in part to a late spike from Maggie Cristoforo and a block by Menke. The Panthers led 24-22, one point away from tying the match up.

With their backs against the wall, Fairfield turned to Godwin. The junior hitter had three kills in the last four points, including the game-winner as the Trojans closed the set on a 4-0 run to take it 26-24.

“When you get to the tail end of the game, this group has executed very well,” Fairfield head coach Ron Drish said after the game. “In the second set, their backs were on the wall. They just kept the floor clean on our side and the hitters were able to execute.”

The Trojans were able to parlay that momentum into an easier win in the third set. The Panthers split the first 12 points to tie it at 6-6, but it was all Fairfield from that point on. The Trojans went on a 13-1 run midway through the game to put it on ice and stopped a late Panther run to win 25-17.

After the loss, Panther coach David Streeter said it was tough to bounce back after the second set. He added the squad needs to play cleaner against good teams.

“We need to learn to stay out of our own way,” Streeter said. “We made a lot of mistakes just on our own. With a good offense like Fairfield has, you can’t make those kinds of mistakes.”

Mt. Pleasant fell to 8-15 overall and 2-4 in SEC play with the loss. They will hit the road to play Washington in their next contest. Fairfield moved to 17-5 overall and 5-1 in conference play. They’ll host No. 14 Ft. Madison for their next game. Both of those contests will be on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m.

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