The Fairfield Lady Lions saw their volleyball season come to a close on Saturday afternoon, as they lost in the Division III SE District Sectional finals to the host Northwest Lady Mohawks in a four-set match.

Fairfield (16-7) won a share of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference volleyball championship this season, and on Saturday they won set two by a 25-23 score. On the other side, the Lady Mohawks — who won a sectional title for the first time since 2014 — won sets one, three and four by scores of 25-17, 25-11 and 25-22 to seal their victory and move on to the district semifinals.



“Our girls just couldn’t finish today,” FHS head coach Lesley Hattan said Saturday after the game. “Their passing is probably their worst passing game they’ve had all season. Usually we are good at passing, and today we weren’t. When you have a bad pass in the net, the setters can’t set and the hitters can’t hit, then it’s not going to work out in your favor.

“Northwest is a very tall, athletic team, and they had good hitters.”

The first set of the match had the Lady Lions lead by a 3-0 score very early on, but the host Lady Mohawks came back to tie the score at 3-3. As the match continued in the early stages, NWHS and Fairfield were tied three more times at 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6.

The Lady Mohawks took the lead for good when they went ahead 7-6 in the first set, and they had points from Audrey Knittel and Valerie Eury to build a 14-8 advantage. FHS came back with three straight points, including points by Ally Davis on an ace and Paris Priest with a play at the net.

Northwest eventually built a 18-12 lead, and later they increased their lead to 20-15. Later, an ace by Northwest’s Reagan Lewis put the Lady Mohawks ahead 24-16, and the first set ended with a spike by Addison Newman to end the set with Fairfield losing by eight points.

For Northwest, Lewis had a career-high 40 assists in the sectional final match, as Lewis also had two kills, 10 digs, one ace and six points served.

The second set went the way of the Lady Lions as they built an early lead of 3-1 following a point scored by Braylynn Haines, but the Lady Mohawks made it a 6-6 score. Fairfield fought back with a push over the net by Caitlin Campbell, and later another big hit by Haines left Fairfield with a two-point lead at 11-9.

Following a big hit by Hattan of Fairfield, they led 14-11, and later that lead went to 20-14 with points by Paris Priest and Layla Hattan.

After calling a timeout following a short rally by Northwest, Fairfield added to their lead with a point for a 22-17 lead, NWHS continued to battle against Fairfield, making the score 22-21 following an ace by Lydia Emmons, only to see FHS take a two-point advantage as the ball landed out of play.

Northwest kept the score close, but it was Fairfield who fought to get the win with the 25th point coming off a ball hit out of play by NWHS, for the 25-23 set two win.

The third and fourth sets went to Northwest at 25-11 and 25-22, with Fairfield having the lead in set four as far as 22-21 until Northwest tied the score at 22 and then scored three more consecutive points for the win.

For Northwest, Ava Jenkins totaled 12 kills, three blocks, eight serve receptions, 11 digs, two assists, and one ace. Haidyn Wamsley finished with 11 kills, two blocks, one assist, three service receptions and five digs.

Emmons had a career-high 20 digs in the match. Emmons also came up big behind the service line with five aces and 22 points served, and she had six service receptions.

Addisyn Newman for the Lady Mohawks finished with seven kills, four assists, four digs, one ace, and 14 points served. Valerie Eury totaled nine kills, 11 digs, four service receptions and Eury also had three aces and 14 points served. Audrey Knittel ended the game with six kills and two blocks, while Terah Webb had four digs, four service receptions and one assist.

Seniors for the Lady Lions included Ally Davis, Grace Lawson, Taylor Lawson and Saylor Priest.

“The four seniors are probably the best servers on our team,” Hattan said. “They are very consistent servers and hard servers, and that will be something we have to work on next year. Ally tore her ACL before the season, and she had to sit out for a while, but she worked her way back in. We are going to miss her leadership.”