By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
It was short, sweet and all Fairfield Saturday night as the Falcons dispatched Tippecanoe Valley, 25-17, 25-15, 25-11 to claim the championship of the Class 3A West Noble Sectional.
The match took just over an hour to complete. With the win - the Falcons’ 10th consecutive sectional crown overall and third straight since they moved up to Class 3A - Fairfield advanced to Tuesday night’s regional, which the Falcons will host at 7 p.m. Fairfield will face either Fort Wayne Concordia or Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger.
The Falcons (30-7) got out to big early leads in all three games.
Despite the relatively dominating nature of the Falcons’ run through the sectional tournament - Fairfield did not lose any games in either of the three matches it played - coach Carla Herschberger said there are still things for the Falcons to work on as they prepare for the regional.
“We need to pass better, and we lost our focus at times today,” Herschberger said.
Herschberger said she wanted her team to play a faster game against the Vikings (18-10), and the Falcons did that for the most part.
“Our serving was more aggressive,” Herschberger said.
Tippy Valley coach Mallory Eaton can take away some positives from her team’s campaign: The Vikings won a tournament during the season, she said; and also finished with a winning record. Both were preseason goals.
“We need to work on our mental toughness,” Eaton said.
Falcon senior middle hitter Sierra Smith, who had nine kills and two blocks, said she and her teammates were part of something really special with Saturday’s 10th straight sectional title.
“It’s almost surreal to think about,” Smith said.
Smith said she and her teammates need to keep working on their communication and trusting each other. Breakdowns in those areas are what lead to brief letdowns during matches, Smith said.
“We know we can do it,” Smith said. “It’s a matter of maintaining that, and keeping each other up through the whole match.”
In addition to Smith’s nine kills, the Falcons got 14 from Haley Brown. Senior setter Leah Wimmer had 31 assists, and senior Erin Carlos had four service aces to go with 11 digs. Junior outside hitter Kelsey Schiffli added seven digs.
The Falcons defeated NorthWood, 25-19, 25-22, 25-19 in a semifinal match earlier in the day to reach Saturday night’s final.