BROOKVILLE — Eaton’s volleyball season came to an end after a loss in four sets (25-21, 21-25, 17-25, 21-25) to Chaminade Julienne in the OHSAA Sectional/District Tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Finishing with a 17-5 record this season, the Eagles were able to take the first set, but were outmatched the rest of the way as CJ used its size and strength to move on in the tournament.
“We just never could get anything going,” Eaton coach Parker Fields said. “We just did not pass the ball well at all tonight. When you get down this far in the tournament, you’ve got to be able to play with some enthusiasm and kind of flow with the game, and I think we got caught standing a lot during that match.”
The Eagles got off to a positive start, jumping out to an early 11-1 lead in the first set.
Though Eaton would go on to win the set 25-21, it was not without challenge, as CJ would outscore Eaton 20-14 after falling behind.
“I think what happened is that we played to not lose as opposed to against Carroll,” Fields said. “When you play tentative against teams that are just as good as you, what ends up happening is that momentum gets shifted quick and it’s hard to change. We just couldn’t pull ourselves out of it all night.”
As Fields alluded to, the rally by CJ in the first set, at one point making it one-point deficit at 21-20, gave CJ momentum throughout the rest of the match.
In the second set, Eaton fell behind 5-0, but was eventually able to take a 21-20 lead. CJ would go on to score the next five points to take the second set 25-21.
The third set was less competitive as CJ went on early runs of four and five points to take a 16-8 lead, eventually winning the set 25-17.
“Honestly, we were looking for somebody to be an emotional leader all night, and it just – what we call it is doe-eyed. They all went doe-eyed and then just played really tentative, and we couldn’t pass the ball to where our setters could run our offense,” Fields said. “We missed a lot of serves and we didn’t really serve aggressively like we’ve been doing all season long.”
The fourth set looked more promising for Eaton as the Eagles took a 16-14 lead, but five unanswered points from CJ stopped Eaton’s comeback attempt, and CJ would later win the set 25-21 to complete the 3-1 win over Eaton.
Among many of the issues for Eaton against Chaminade Julienne was CJ’s blocking attack, which the Eagles struggled to get past.
“[CJ’s blocking attack] was really good, but the thing about the thing about it is we didn’t help our hitters out because we weren’t we weren’t covering our hitters,” Fields said. “We were kind of standing around watching.”
Despite the loss, Fields is still proud of what the Eagles were able to accomplish this year with a second place finish in the SWBL and a 10-2 record overall in the conference.
“But, I’m really proud of the game,” Fields said. “They had a really good season. We’re young. We’ve got a majority of our production coming back, so we’re looking forward to that. It was just unfortunate that tonight just wasn’t our night.”
Tuesday’s game also marked the end for Eaton’s four seniors: Libby Giffen, Carsyn Lammers, Kylee Pitsinger and Claire Sorrell.
“This senior class is pretty special to me,” Fields said. “I’ve been coaching them since they were young. I coached them in club when they were little. Carsyn and Kylee Pittsinger were varsity lettermen when they were freshmen. They’ve been pillars of our program for four years. It’s going to sting without them around.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles