AUSTINTOWN OH- It was a highly anticipated matchup on Thursday night between Fitch and Louisville, and it did not disappoint. The Falcons responded from being down 2-1 to win the match 3-2 (20-25 26-24 14-25 25-15 15-10).
The Falcons struggled at first to get a handle on Louisville standout Paige Cole. She had a big chunk of her match- high 28 kills in the first set. The Falcons couldn’t get their blockers to get in time. Cole, and the Leopards navigated their way to a 25-20 set one victory.
Set two was the most competitive set of the night. The two teams went back and forth as the set went on. Fitch jumped out to a 4-0 lead early, and that was enough to keep them close. The Leopards still showed great power in the front row and took a couple leads. But Chelsie Wheeler got a strong kill from the left side to end the set.
The two teams traded dominating sets, helped out by opponent errors. Serve receive got shaky for Fitch in set three and the Leopards pounced all over them. Then, in set four it was attack errors that became the bugaboo for Louisville letting Fitch run away with the set and force a set five.
Trailing 11-10 lead in set five, Louisville made a mistake that would turn the set around. For the first time in the match they were called for a double touch on the set, and it would give the Falcons a 12-10 lead. They would go on a 3-1 run to end the set and the match.
Alyssa Leskovac earned a double double with 10 kills, and 24 digs. Chelsie Wheeler led the Falcons offense with 16 kills. Jocelyn Jourdan player tremendous net defense on the strong attackers of Louisville. She finished with 6 blocks, and 8 kills. Emma Bartlett fought through a cut on her right thumb to still finish with 40 assists.
For the Leopards, Paige Cole has another terrific night with 28 kills, and 15 digs. Lauren Siegfried set up 27 assists. Kendall Loy served up 2 aces.
The Falcons are now 11-1 and will travel to East on Monday. The Leopards fall to 6-5 and they’ll host Jackson on Wednesday.