Panther spikers sweep M. Plains; FHS coach one victory shy of 600


The Lady Panthers of Fairbanks added another Ohio Heritage Conference victory to their volleyball resume on Thursday by sweeping Madison Plains, 25-20, 25-11, 25-15.

“That was probably the most consistent match we’ve played all season,” said coach Ed Marsman as his team improved to 7-1 in the OHC and 8-3 overall.

The victory also put Marsman one step away from a milestone.

The next Lady Panther triumph will be the coach’s 600th for his career.

Fairbanks (which will travel to Central Crossing on Monday) got out of the gate slowly and trailed the Eagles, 10-6, after some early blocking and hitting errors.

A tip over the net by Anna Higbee, however, pulled FHS to within 10-9 and began the team’s comeback.

Kaidie Carstensen deadlocked the initial set at 11-all with a block and her ace serve later notched the score at 15-15.

Fairbanks tallied two quick points on Eagles’ hitting miscues and later went to set point (24-20) when Madison Plains was whistled for a four-hit violation.

Cassie Lamb then set Carstensen’s kill that ended the game.

The Lady Panthers tallied the first seven markers of the ensuing game and were never seriously challenged.

A kill from Carstensen upped the lead to 8-1 and her next ace serve pushed Fairbanks out to an 11-2 margin.

FHS grabbed a double-digit lead at 19-9 when Taylar Sphapmixay assisted on Carstensen’s next kill.

Carsensten added another ace serve to put the Lady Panthers up by a 24-11 count.

The final point came when Madison Plains sent a serve reception out of bounds.

The third set was tied at 7-7 when the Eagles sent an errant serve out of play.

Several Madison Plains hitting and passing errors allowed Fairbanks to grab a 12-7 advantage.

Carstensen’s block gave the Lady Panthers a 16-9 margin.

The Eagles committed too many hitting errors down the stretch to reduce the deficit any further.

“We made a lot of good first passes that kept Madison Plains off-balance,” said Marsman.

“They have size and good hitters, but we didn’t allow them to get into any kind of rhythm,” he said. “We kept the ball alive and didn’t allow Madison Plains to put the ball down on us.”

Stats for the match were as follows:

-Carstensen: 12 kills, five blocks, six ace serves; nine points;

-Sphapmixay: 19 sets, 11 assists;

-Lamb: 33 sets, 15 assists;

-Lizzie Nicol: 28 passes;

-Jayda Rausch: 12 attacks, five kills;

-Emma Griffey: three blocks, three kills:

-Higbee: 10 points, seven kills;

-Olivia Vollrath: 15 passes, four points.

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