EATON — With two freshmen in the starting lineup and along with two other first-time starters, Eaton’s volleyball team opened the season with a straight set 25-21, 25-19, 25-20 win over visiting Springfield Northwestern on Saturday, Aug. 19.
“I think it’s a great way to start a season against a team that was surprisingly tough,” Eaton coach Parker Fields said. “That’s a team that’s going to win ballgames they blocked really well, and I think their Libero is probably going to be a next level type player.”
Eaton fell behind 5-3 in the first set before going on an 8-2 run to take a 11-7 lead. Northwestern eventually tied the set at 15 before the Eagles closed on a 10-6 for the win.
In set two, Northwestern jumped out to a 7-3 lead before Eaton regrouped to take a 14-13 lead. After the Warriors fought back for a 15-14 lead, Eaton closed on an 11-4 run for a 2-0 lead.
In the third set, it was much of the same as the two teams battled back and forth. Eaton took the lead for good at 13-12 and lead by as many as five down the stretch.
“When we went away from their defense, I thought that we had a lot of success. Think 13 service errors kept them in the match,” Fields said. “Anytime you win a ballgame in a sweep with 13 service errors you either come out lucky or end up knowing how good you really are.”
Senior Ellis Wilson led the Eagles with 12 kills and five digs, while her sister, Kenzie had 30 assists,
“I thought Ellie Wilson started the match off really well attacking, they ended up really kind of starting to handle her and get some touches on her block, and Kenzie (Wilson) was able to get the ball outside,” Field said. “All three outsides today did a pretty good job of taking care of the match-up and attacking the ball in the seam when the middle wasn’t closing. I thought we passed the ball very well today.”
Shandon Garrett added 12 kills and three aces, while Daisy Suggs and Julianne Deaton each had four kills.
Ella Statzer finished with 14 digs and three aces and Katie Bryant added seven aces.
“There were a couple of defensive hiccups. I mean, obviously it’s the first match, but an inexperienced team starting off the season, starting two freshmen, and winning in a sweep against a pretty big team. I thought was a positive step for us to start the season. I’m happy,” Field said. “There’s nowhere but up from here because the potential is high. I like this team.”
Eaton (1-0) has a busy week scheduled. They were to travel to Middletown Madison on Monday, Aug. 21 and to St. Henry on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The Eagles will close out the week hosting Tippecanoe on Saturday, Aug. 26.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and on X @emowenjr.