FAIRFIELD — The Mount Carmel Jr. Lady Aces could not sustain any momentum as they lost both sets on the road Monday night losing to Fairfield, 25-16, 25-15 in girls Junior High school volleyball action.

"We played [Fairfield] in the Albion tournament and I remember we were always struggling to catch up," said Mount Carmel coach Lisa Benedict. "We never had the upper-hand and we should have. We're a good team. I'm not exactly sure what happened tonight other than, I think we hung our heads and we didn't come back like we typically do."

The Jr. Lady Aces started the first game strong especially after a kill from Taylor Singer helped Mount Carmel to an early 8-5 lead. A second kill from Singer helped to extend Mount Carmel's lead to 10-7.

However, Mount Carmel would not sustain the lead as Fairfield fired back to tie the game, 10-10, on a kill from Kenzie Vaughan. The Colts served seven straight points before Mount Carmel forced a side-out. The Jr. Lady Aces never recovered.

The Fairfield lead pulled ahead, 20-13, after an ace by Kenna Davis resulting in the second and final timeout for the Jr. Lady Aces.

The break did not inspire Mount Carmel, but Rachel Johnson did earn a kill to make it 22-15 in favor of Fairfield.

Cierra Reed finished off Game 1 by picking up the final two points including an ace.

"Fairfield has awesome servers," said Benedict. "I think they're smart players and they realized that maybe our girls weren't feeling like they weren't doing their best, and they were attacking them.

"We discussed, 'you can't hand your head. You can't show it. You go on with it.' But Fairfield is a team of hustlers. They know how to place the ball. They know how to serve it and we were struggling with that tonight."

In Game 2, Singer gave Mount Carmel a 3-2 lead with a kill, but after an ace from Kenzie Vaughan tied the game, Fairfield pushed forward and never surrendered the lead after taking a 7-5 lead.

Down 13-7, Mount Carmel's Cameron Deal picked up a kill. Kami Pearson managed to earn two points on serve including an ace, but the Colts put a quick end to the Jr. Lady Aces' rally attempt.

"We couldn't get on a roll at all," said Benedict. "That's surprising for these girls. Are we better than what we showed tonight? Absolutely."

Leading 16-11, Fairfield's Lucy Britt picked up four straight points to extend the Colts' lead to 20-11 resulting in a timeout by Mount Carmel.

Later in the game, a Kenna Davis tip put the Colts on the verge of victory with a 24-13 lead. Deal halted the celebration with a kill then Singer served an ace as the Jr. Lady Aces trailed 24-15 before a side out ended the contest.

"They [Fairfield] were blocking Taylor and not too many teams can do that," said Benedict. "We definitely have some things we have that we're going to be addressing, things that we saw tonight that we don't want to see again."

The Jr. Lady Aces are back in action Thursday. Mount Carmel will stay in town but will compete at St. Mary's.

Contact Register Sports Editor Paul Wilcoxen at (618) 263-1004 ext. 1025, pwilcoxen@mtcarmelregister.com, or on Twitter @paulwilcoxen

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