Thayer Central, the surprise on the rise in C2, sweeps Fairbury Tuesday
FAIRBURY - Thayer Central (6-0) was not ranked to begin the 2019 season.
Suddenly, they found themselves ranked No. 4 by the Lincoln Journal Star on Monday, and if their current trend continues, that ranking could climb.
The Titans, fresh off of their first state tournament appearance since 2012 last season, stayed undefeated, sweeping Fairbury (26-24, 25-13, 25-15) on Tuesday night at Fairbury High School.
Thayer Central trailed 23-17 in the first set, but used a 9-1 run to snatch it from the Jeffs (0-3). Sets two and three were rarely in doubt.
"The girls really came together the second and third set," Titans' second-year head coach Cody Dunlap said. "The first set was a little scary on our part. We didn't come out as hot as we usually do, our passes were a little off. We came back and won, though, and the confidence they showed after that, they turned on their passing after that. It really made a difference."
The Titans shot out of a canon to start the season on Aug. 31, going 4-0 in the Minden Tournament, knocking off No. 8 Lincoln Christian of Class C1, 2-1, in the championship.
Thayer Central lost five seniors and their top four attackers from a season ago, but a group of four sophomores have joined the varsity fold this fall, and have fit in nicely with a group of four seniors who have starting experience from last year.
"The team we have this year mostly played JV the last two years together," Dunlap explained, "so, it's not like we had to put a whole new team together. So, that helped out a lot. We have a really good defensive team this year. We have a lot of defensive specialists (5) on our team, so that's worked out really well. A lot of the girls have stepped up to the situations, and I'm really proud of them."
Sophomore outside hitter Kaisha Solomon, who led her team with 32 kills entering Tuesday's match, led her team again with a match-high 12 spikes against Fairbury. Senior middle blocker Chloe Souerdyke was close behind with nine kills, two blocks and an ace.
Bailey Kiburz, another senior middle, finished with seven kills and a block. In all, four Titans finished with at least four kills Tuesday night.
"As a team, when we have all of our hitters that come together, our setter (Jasa Wiedel) can just place anywhere she wants and trust us," Solomon said. "Our word is 'trust' this year. So, trust all around the court."
Senior middle Sara Huss led Fairbury with 11 kills, two blocks and an ace serve. Sophomore outside hitter Karly McCord had five kills in all. Senior setter Izze Schwab had four kills and an ace.
The Jeffs will seek their first win of the season on Thursday at Malcolm in a tournament. Play starts at 5 p.m.
Thayer Central has Wednesday off before heading to Henderson Thursday for a match against Heartland - also at 5.
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