Xenia survives five-set thriller


By Scott Halasz - shalasz@aimmediamidwest.com



Fairborn’s Gracie Knapp gets ready to smash the ball over the net. She had 11 kills.

Fairborn’s Gracie Knapp gets ready to smash the ball over the net. She had 11 kills.


Photos by Scott Halasz | Greene County News Xenia’s Jada McAvene stretches to to return a shot from Fairborn as Sydney Shuttleworth looks on. Xenia won in five sets.


Sydney Shuttleworth returns a serve as Izzy Propes (0) and Ciera Lloyd look on.


FAIRBORN — High school volleyball doesn’t get any better than what fans saw at Fairborn High School Monday.

The Skyhawks and Miami Valley League rival Xenia battled for more than two hours of action that featured spirited comebacks, extended points, superb net play, and tournament intensity in a 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 24-26, 15-12 Bucs win.

Xenia finishes the abbreviated regular season 11-7 overall and in the Valley Division, claiming its first MVL division title. Fairborn ends 6-12 overall and in the MVL.

“I think we just got a little complacent, a little comfortable,” Xenia coach Jessica Threats said. “We’ve just got to learn how to finish. Focusing on playing to win and not playing not to lose.”

That was how Xenia played in the first two sets, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 9-6 lead that eventually reached 19-12 after a kill by Kendall Sherman. Another Sherman kill a little later gave Xenia a 21-13 lead before Fairborn rallied behind the solid serving from Chariti Taylor to make it 24-23. Xenia scored the next point on a serve out of bounds.

The second set followed the same pattern, but the Skyhawks jumped out to a quick lead in the third set, winning it on a kill from Katie Knapp.

The best set followed as Fairborn built an early 9-4 lead that reached 16-10 and then 21-16 before Xenia chipped away and made it 21-20 with Ciera Lloyd serving. LeeAnn Williams won it with a soft hit at the net, forcing the fifth set.

Xenia jumped out to a quick lead in the deciding set and survived a late surge from the Skyhawks to complete the season sweep of Fairborn.

“Energy, passion, just love for the game” was what brought Fairborn back according to Coach Beatriz Ortega-Estrada.

“Realizing that it was the last game of the actual season,” she said. “We could have easily lost in three. The last three games were definitely different.”

Jada McAvene led Xenia with 15 kills, while Sherman had 14. Sydney Shuttleworth had 20 digs, while Haley McManus had 26 assists.

Williams had 15 kills and five aces for Fairborn, while Sam Hart had 31 digs and Meagan Thompson 21. Katie Knapp had 25 assists for Fairborn, while Gracie Knapp had 11 kills. Katie Heider had 12 assists.

Fairborn’s Gracie Knapp gets ready to smash the ball over the net. She had 11 kills.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/10/web1_DSC_0163.jpgFairborn’s Gracie Knapp gets ready to smash the ball over the net. She had 11 kills.

Photos by Scott Halasz | Greene County News Xenia’s Jada McAvene stretches to to return a shot from Fairborn as Sydney Shuttleworth looks on. Xenia won in five sets.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/10/web1_DSC_0157.jpgPhotos by Scott Halasz | Greene County News Xenia’s Jada McAvene stretches to to return a shot from Fairborn as Sydney Shuttleworth looks on. Xenia won in five sets.

Sydney Shuttleworth returns a serve as Izzy Propes (0) and Ciera Lloyd look on.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/10/web1_DSC_0179.jpgSydney Shuttleworth returns a serve as Izzy Propes (0) and Ciera Lloyd look on.

By Scott Halasz

shalasz@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.