EATON — Eaton’s volleyball team gained the upper hand in the race for the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division title with a straight set win over previously undefeated Brookville.
The Eagles, now 3-2, 1-0, downed the Blue Devils 25-21, 25-16, 25-22 on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at Eaton.
“I’m real happy with the way we responded from coming off of a loss that probably shouldn’t have happened,” Eaton coach Parker Fields said coming off a three set loss to Tippecanoe on Saturday. “If your goal was a three-peat to beat the best player in the league and her team right off the bat is a step in the right direction.”
Eaton senior Ellie Wilson proved to be a difference maker as she collected 14 kills and four blocks on the night.
“I thought she was a stud tonight,” Field said of his player of the year candidate. “I thought she was pretty unstoppable tonight. She did a good job splitting blocks.”
Freshman Shandon Garrett added 11 kills and seven digs to help Eaton snap a two-game losing streak.
Sophomore Kenzie Wilson had 30 assists and five digs.
“I thought we passed the ball really well tonight. I thought we served tough. I thought our blockers did a really good job at slowing balls down for our defenders,” Fields said. “We played with more energy I think than we’ve played with all season long and I think that kind of drives it.”
For Brookville, sophomore Sidney Sprada, considered one of the top players in the area, led the Blue Devils with 15 kills and two blocks.
“When you go against the best player, best small school player in the area, we knew she was going to get hers, but I really felt like we did a good job of slowing her down<” Field said. “And I think the key was kind of taking her out of the match in serve receive. Good players that play six rotations need to touch the ball. And when you don’t touch the ball, you start to get frustrated, and it kind of takes your head out of it and I’m not saying it took her head out of it, but when you limit her touches, you got a pretty good chance against those guys.
Senior Melina Davidson had 11 assists and sophomore Lauren Eller added seven.
In the opening set the two teams battled to a 9-9 tie, before the Eagles pushed the lead to 14-10. Eaton held leads of four points at 16-12 and 17-13 before the Blue Devils rallied to tie the set at 21-21. A Kill by Garrett gave Eaton the lead for good.
In set two, the Eagles grabbed a 5-2 lead and never looked back, leading by 10 on multiple occasions.
Eaton appeared to be ready to make quick work of Brookville in the third set racing out to 10-2 lead and was up 21-13 after an ace by Ellie Wilson.
But Brookville kept its composure.
A 5-0 run cut the margin to 21-18. Brookville got within 23-22 before a kill by Daisy Suggs and a Blue Devil hitting error ended the match.
“I felt like they had a little bit more early success as far as their offense. They took us out of system pretty quick. And we took a while to respond,” Brookville coach Justin Birchfield said. “For me, the big thing was that we’ve got to eliminate some of those simple mistakes that we were making early. And that’s in part to them too. I’m not going to say that they weren’t making us make mistakes, but we’ve got to be better about responding early and kind of shutting that down. They’re a good team. They’re well coached. It’s one of those things that kind of do what you can when you can.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.