A near-capacity crowd was expecting a tight game between two unbeaten conference teams at Tinora on Monday and they definitely got their money’s worth when the Rams and Fairview faced off.

The defending league champion Rams seemed to have more firepower at the end of the games, however, prevailing in four sets, 28-30, 25-15, 25-22, 25-22.

“We battled and executed in that first set,” said Fairview coach Allison Ciolek, whose Apaches are searching for the program’s first conference title in volleyball since 2001. “But overall, we weren’t consistent. Once we got to the second, third and fourth sets, we traded points and then Tinora had a run of three or more points. I think that we haven’t had a tough enough schedule. We haven’t been tested before and when it was tight at the end, we just weren’t confident enough.”

The win for Tinora (6-0 GMC) clinches at least a tie for the conference title. Fairview has a 5-1 GMC mark and Antwerp, which plays Hicksville today, sports a 4-1 GMC mark. Tinora (18-2 overall) hosts Antwerp on Thursday.

Fairview jumped out to early leads in the final three games, before Tinora rallied back. In game two, Fairview led, 7-3. In game four, the Apaches jumped out to a 6-0 lead and in the final game, Fairview led, 5-3.

“First of all, we’ve got to stop falling behind, but also a lot of credit for that goes to Fairview,” said Tinora coach Bretta Hagerty. “But the girls hung in there. Fairview’s a really good quality team. They do everything really well and make you work really hard for every point. Coming into the season, I felt Fairview was the team to beat, so this a big win for us.”

The first game, won by Fairview, was the wildest one. The game featured eight lead changes and 17 ties. Fairview finally pulled it out 30-28, getting its final two points off a Tinora hitting error and an in the net violation against Tinora.

In game three, Fairview jumped out to a 7-3 lead and still led, 11-8, before Tinora rallied. The Rams tallied six straight points to take a 14-11 lead. Lexi Wachtman had two kills, Tori Morlock had two aces and Makenna Reetz added an ace. Morlock finished with six digs, was 11-13 in serve receive, had three aces, 12 kills and three blocks.

“My success is all because of my teammates,” Morlock said. “They helped set the blocks so I could be in the right spot and being able to make some good passes to me. The competition we received from Fairview really helped us and pushed us. The competition was fierce.”

Tinora then finished the game on an 11-3 run to prevail, 25-15. Emma Chafins, who finished with four blocks, 13 digs and six kills, had three kills and two blocks in the run. In addition, she finished the game going 19-21 in serve receive.

“Emma had some very timely kills for us and we’re excited she’s on our side,” Hagerty said. She played all around for us and has really matured on her serve receive.

In game three, Fairview jumped out to a 6-0 lead, getting two kills from Paige Ricica. But thanks to an ace from Sara Stark, Tinora got back in it with four straight points to trail, 6-4.

Fairview responded with three points to lead, 9-4, getting kills from Ricica and Anna Ankney.But Tinora responded with five straight points, to tie the game at 9-9. Makenna Reetz had three aces in the run and finished the night with six aces.

The teams then experienced three ties, before Tinora seized control. Leading by just 18-17 after a kill from Fairview’s Madison Schoenauer, Tinora took a 20-17 lead on a Fairview hitting error and another Reetz ace.

After a Tinora service error cut Tinora’s lead to 2018, kills from Tinora’s Sydney Gerken and Morlock put Tinora up, 23-18. With Tinora leading, 24-19, Fairview put one more push to cut the lead to 24-22, on two kills from Ankney and a Ricica kill. But Wachtman finished off the Tinora win with a kill.

In game four, Fairview led, 5-3, getting three aces from Schoenauer. However, Tinora then went on a 7-1 run to lead, 10-6. Wachtman and Morlock each had two kills, while Chafins served up an ace.

From there, Tinora was able to keep a four point lead, until the score reached 24-20, after a Wachtman kill. Two Tinora kill attempts that sailed out of bounds cut the Tinora lead to 24-22. But another Wachtman kill gave Tinora the four set win.

“Tristen set me up for that last kill,” said Wachtman, who finished with 22 kills and seven digs. “Getting the kill that sealed the win, the rush of beating Fairview was so crazy. I’m super excited that our team has come together. Everyone played so hard and we came back and kicked them.”

Ankney collected 32 assists, five kills, three blocks and eight digs for the 19-2 Apaches. Paige Ricica had 11 kills and 18 digs while Schoenauer had 11 kills, three aces and 10 digs.

For Tinora, Sydney Gerken had 18 kills, Sierra Kruse had 20 digs and Brooklyn Reineke had 25 assists and three digs.

At Tinora

Tinora def. Fairview, 28-30, 25-15, 25-22, 25-22

Fairview (19-2, 5-1 GMC) — Anna Ankney 5 kills, 3 blocks, 17-19 serving, 32 assists, 8 digs; Olivia Ricica 6 kills, 4 blocks, 11-12 serving, 16 digs; Kiersten Cline 4 kills, 14-14 serving, 11 digs; Riley Mealer 4 kills; Sami Kime 14-14 serving, 8 digs; Madison Schoenauer 11 kills, 171-7 serving, 3 aces, 10 digs; Paige Ricica 11 kills, 15-15 serving, 18 digs.

Tinora (18-2, 6-0 GMC) — Sydney Gerken 18 kills; Sierra Kruse 17-17 serve receive, 20 digs; Tori Morlock 12 kills, 3 blocks, 15-16 serving, 3 aces, 11-13 serve receive; Lexi Wachtman 22 kills, 7 digs; Sara Stark 14-14 serving, 12-12 serve receive, 10 digs; Audrey Rittnehourse 19-19 serving, 19-20 serve receive, 5 digs; Tristen Norden 13-13 serving, 28 assists, 10 digs; Brooklyn Reineke 25 assists, 3 digs; Makenna Reetz 3 blocks, 17-20 serving, 6 aces; Emma Chafins 6 kills, 4 blocks, 13-14 serving, 3 aces, 19-21 serve receive, 13 digs.

Reserves: Fairview, 27-25, 25-9.

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