BELLBROOK — A trip to Bellbrook has resulted in a loss for several good Eaton volleyball teams over the years.
In fact, current Eaton coach Parker Fields’ teams had never won a set in five trips to Greene County.
This year, though, the Fighting Eagles turned the tables on the host Golden Eagles.
Eaton rallied from a one set deficit to claim a key Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division win 23-25, 25-13, 28-26, 25-17 on Thursday, Aug. 29.
“First win in six years,” Fields said after the win. “We played for a league championship here the first year and got beat. And I don’t know if we’ve won a set here. I couldn’t be happier. I think these kids have a goal. They knew that we had lost so many kids from a successful season last year.”
Eaton jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the opening set and still led 13-8 before Bellbrok rallied. Bellbrook tied the set at 22-22 and took a 23-22 lead on an attacking error by Eaton. A kill by Libby Giffen evened the score, but a service gave the home team a 24-23 lead and double hit ended the set.
“We broke down in serve receive and that’s something we need to continue to improve on,” Field said.
In the second set, Eaton took command early again jumping out to leads of 7-1 and 12-2. Bellbrook closed to within 14-8 and 15-11, before Eaton ended the match with a 10-2 run.
“It was real important (to win the second set). It was big for our confidence,” Field said. “They played poised and calm. That’s the was they should play, especially as a young team.”
In set three, it was Bellbook who got off to the quick start.
The Golden Eagles led 4-0 and 9-2. The hosts held a 19-12 lead only to see Eaton rally to within 19-17. Eaton eventually tied the set at 22 on a kill by freshman Olivia Buamann and took a 24-22 lead. Three straight hitting errors by Eaton gave Bellbrook at 25-24 lead, but a Giffen kill evened the set at 25-all. After Bellbrook regained the lead 26-25, Eaton scored the final three points to take the set.
In the fourth set, Eaton pushed ahead 8-2 taking advantage of several Bellbrook hitting errors. Bellbrook got as close as 13-9 and 19-14, but Eaton had an answer for each Golden Eagle rally.
“We attacked them from the service lines and we took big swings,” Fields said.
Baumann finished the night with a 17 kills, eight digs and three aces.
Junior Libby Giffen added 11 kills, nine digs and four aces.
Senior Shay Perry contributed six kills and four aces.
Freshman Bailey Jerdon added 14 assists and a pair of aces and junior Carsyn Lammers had 21 assists and five digs.
The win pushes Eaton’s record to 5-0 overall and more importantly 3-0 in the SWBL. Brookville (6-0) is the only other remaining undefeated team in division play at 2-0. The Blue Devils were scheduled to play Bellbrook on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
“Their number one goal was to win a league (title) and the league is always through Bellbrook,” Fields said. “And when you can go on the road and beat Bellbrook you’re putting yourself in a pretty good position to be top dog or in the hunt going down the stretch.”
Eaton started the week with a 25-12, 25-11, 25-19 sweep of Monroe.
The Fighting Eagles were scheduled to play Franklin on Tuesday, Sept. 3 and will host Valley View on Thursday. They will wrap up the week on Saturday when they host Fairmont.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH