EL PASO - Fieldcrest's stay in the postseason was short as they fell 25-12, 26-24 to regional host El Paso-Gridley Tuesday night.
The kind of match it was for Fieldcrest (16-15-1) could be summed up with the conclusion of the second set. The second of consecutive kills from Emma Petersen gave the Knights a 24-21 lead. They were one point from a third set.
That led to three set points, all of which were squandered.
“I think we started too late,” said Fieldcrest coach Jennifer Bartman of hiking onto the comeback trail. “EP-G played really well and we did not. They were bringing everything back up. The ball would be going into net or to the back end of the court and they went and made a beautiful play.”
A service ace from Lauryn Mool knotted it at 24. A kill from Morgan Ryder gave the Titans (15-13) a 25-24 lead before a set attack by Jaycie Schertz came on match point.
Despite standing only 5-foot-4, Ryder hit like a much taller player, as she tallied 10 kills. Madi Funk added seven. Cheyenne Carr handed out 21 assists.
A Petersen ace gave Fieldcrest a 5-4 lead in the first set before EP-G scored the next 11 points to take control.
The hosts were very effective at blocking.
“One of our go-to-plays is set to Emma in the back row,” Bartman said. “That is rarely blocked and they were getting their hands on it. EP-G was pretty good defensively.”
Petersen finished with 11 kills and 18 digs, while Jacie Sullivan added four kills. Lexi Jochums provided 16 assists.
“It seems like we play them in the regional every year,” said Bartman, whose team ended the Titans’ season in 2016. “I think they (Fieldcrest) were a little nervous. This group has not been in a lot of one-and-done situations, but it’s EP-G. They’re a big rival for us.”