On Wednesday, Nov. 4 the Stags defeated the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champions, the Marist Red Foxes, with a 3-1 match victory. For the Stags, both Megan Theiller ’18 and Skyler Day ’18 recorded a double and Megan O’Sullivan ’17 added 17 kills on the day, giving the junior her career-high.
With this win, Fairfield extends its winning streak to a season high of five games. “It’s definitely awesome going forward … Building that momentum in each and every match, [and] coming off a win is awesome. You have more confidence going into the next match and that’s really important for us right now. Coming down to these few last matches and we’re a half game away from first, so we’ve got to really keep working,” said Day of the team’s current winning streak.
Fairfield jumped to an advantage through the early minutes of the match as both Day and O’Sullivan connected for six kills in the set. After increasing their lead to 10-6, the Stags closed out the set strong to give them the victory over Marist 25-21.
The second set of play saw both teams battle head-to-head as both Marist and Fairfield shot over 60 percent from the field. Tied at 14, Fairfield scored on two straight possessions to give them the lead, which they never gave up as they finished the set 25-19. “We’ve been working a lot on coverage in practice, and that really was a big game changer the first and second set. Just coming in and covering balls and having a second chance at every play, that really makes a difference,” said Day of the team’s play in the first half.
The Stags headed to the half with a 2-0 lead, and when asked about getting an early lead, head coach Todd Kress said, “You don’t want to be down 0-2. I mean, 1-1 is okay, but still then you’re playing a best of three match. If you can go up 2-0 on a team like that, of course you want to go out and press them a little bit and put the pressure on them on the road.”
Marist battled back in the third, and after breaking a 6-6 tie, the Red Foxes scored on three straight possessions to give them a 10-6 lead. Marist continued to play well as they persistently connected for points, while the Stags struggled from the field. Fairfield battled back to cut the lead to three, but it wasn’t enough as Marist picked up their lone victory of the match with a set score of 25-22.
Marist had no chance at the Stags in the final set of the game, as they came out the gate scoring five consecutive points to start the set. Fairfield carried the momentum for the rest of the set as they took care of the Red Foxes with a final set score of 25-19. “I saw fight in our team today, after that third set coming back and losing, we said ‘that’s not acceptable.’ Came back the fourth set and decided we were going to finish and that’s what we did,” said Day of the way her team finished the game.
For Fairfield, both Day and O’Sullivan led the team with 17 kills, while Day also added 11 digs. Theiller also added 16 digs along with 10 kills. Sophomore Sydney Buckley had a huge contribution to the win as she finished with a career-best 49 assists.