EATON — Eaton volleyball coach Parker Fields thought his team was a year or two away from winning a league title.
This year’s team had other ideas.
The Eagles rolled by visiting Brookville on Tuesday, Oct. 1 to clinch a share of the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division title, then clinched it outright two days later with a win at Oakwood.
Playing in front of its largest home crowd of the season, the Eagles dominated Brookville, which entered the match a game behind the Eagles in the standings, winning in straight sets 25-21, 25-18, 25-15.
“I think they were really motivated coming into this,” he said.
Fields said this squad thrives on competition.
“The thing about this team is that they play well against better teams,” he said. “I think when they know they’re going to get pushed then they’re on their toes. I think they’re more focused and think about doing their job.”
It was evident from the beginning the Eagles were ready.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first set, Eaton quickly grabbed the momentum and never really relinquished it.
A 7-0 run, which was highlighted by three kills from senior Shay Perry and two from freshman Olivia Baumann, set the tone for the rest of the match.
Although the Blue Devils rallied to tie the fist set at 12-12 and trailed just 17-16, Eaton never looked out of sync.
The Eagles went on a 5-0 run to take a 22-16 lead before closing out the first set.
In the second set, Eaton opened with a 6-0 run and led 12-4. Brookville never got closer than four the rest of the way.
In the third set, the Blue Devils jumped out to a 9-4 lead only to see Eaton rally to take an 11-9 lead.
Once the Eagles grabbed the lead they continued to add to it and ended the match with back-to-back kills by Baumann.
In the final set, Perry recorded nine of her 17 kills on the night and played like someone deserving of being the league’s player of the year as she hit .467 for the match.
“She hammered down on them” Fields said.
Baumann finished with 11 kills and a .526 hitting percentage.
Junior Libby Giffen added eight kills and 13 digs on the night.
Junior Claire Sorrell added nine digs.
Junior Carsyn Lammers had 16 assists and freshman Bailey Jerdon had 17.
“It was a big team effort,” Fields said. “I think we played with purpose tonight.”
On Thursday, Eaton took down Oakwood in four sets 25-14, 26-28, 25-18, 25-22.
Perry finished with 16 kills and a .560 hitting percentage and Giffen added 12.
Sorrell finished with 11 digs, while Lammers and Jerdon had 18 and 15 assists respectively.
“That’s always the goal for us is to win a league championship,” he said. “We should never be surprised that we’re in a position to do that. I think this group expected to win a league championship. The kids had this as a goal to put themselves in position to win a league championship this year and I felt like we had the make up to do it. This was a hard-earned league championship. To win a league with these kids so young it makes me proud. It makes me excited about the future of volleyball here at Eaton.”
Eaton (18-1, 10-1 SWBL) was scheduled to play Greenville on Monday, Oct. 7 and at Monroe on Tuesday. They will wrap up the regular season with a trip to Chaminade Julienne on Thursday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or follow on Twitter @emowen_RH