Wrapping up an undefeated Black Diamond Conference season, Chet Snyder’s Fairfield Lady Mules knocked off visiting Carmi Thursday on Senior Night at the Mule Barn.
Fairfield won in straight sets, 25-20, 26-24, fighting off challenges in both sets after early leads in both. That moved the Mules to 10-0 in the BDC-East, giving them the title outright for the first time since 2009. They have won conference 10 times since joining the BDC 17 years ago.
The victory also moved the Lady Mules to 27-1 overall with their 18th straight win. Their lone loss was to Tolono Unity in the Casey-Westfield Tournament.
Fairfield got double-digit kills from both Jacklyn Simms outside and Nadia Reid in the middle, while setter/outside hitter Chloe Britton had six. Fairfield finished with 33 kills against just 13 attack errors.
In the opening set Wednesday, Fairfield jumped out to a 5-1 lead, getting a pair of kills by Simms, one from Britton and one from Callie Vaughan.
They pushed the lead out to seven at 10-3 with a five-point run served by Lexi Hobbs. Reid was dominant in that stretch, with one kills and three block assists, teaming with Vaughan twice and Simms once.
She had three more kills in Fairfield’s next four points and the Lady Mules still had the ‘Dawgs doubled up at 14-7. Carmi would claw back into the set, however, and got as close as three at 17-14.
Fairfield padded their lead with a 4-1 run to go up 22-16 and then traded points to the final.
In the second set, Fairfield jumped out to an 8-3 lead, getting three early kills from Simms. Fairfield extended their lead to 11-5 and then 17-10. Carmi again rallied in the back half, however. They went on a 10-3 run to force a tie at 20.
They traded the next two points for another tie at 21 before a Simms kill and a Carmi attack error sent wide gave Fairfield a two-point advantage.
Carmi erased that with two straight before a kill by Simms moved Fairfield to game points.
Carmi’s sophomore middle hitter Jessica Smith extended the match with her eighth kill of the night. Reid added another kill to get Fairfield to game point again, and then they won it on another attack error sent wide by Carmi.
Fairfield will play two nonconference matches during the final week. That starts with a huge clash with NCOE Tuesday in Norris City. Jaclyn Melton’s Lady Cardinals are 30-1 this year. Their lone loss? The Lady Mules in the championship of the Fairfield tournament to open the season. That one was a tight affair, with the Lady Mules surviving, 25-12, 25-27, 25-23.
Fairfield will travel to Cisne Thursday. On Saturday, Fairfield will wrap up their regular season by hosting another tournament.
Fairfield def. Carmi 25-20, 26-24
Kills—Jacklyn Simms 12, Nadia Reid 10, Chloe Britton 6, Callie Vaughan 3, Macayle Snyder 2.
Aces—Colbie Sutton 1.
Block Assists—Nadia Reid 3, Callie Vaughan 2, Jacklyn Simms 1.