Volleyball falls to Auburn in close match

A five-set match at home ended in a loss for Fairbury Jeff Volleyball on Thursday, September 5. After four close sets, Auburn pulled away early and held onto a 15-6 lead for the overall 3-2 win.

The contest was the Jeffs’ first performance at home this season after dropping their first


Teammates offer Briaunna Knothe ’21 high-fives from the bench after coming out of the rotation. Knothe had 4 digs on the defensive end of the court on Thursday. Photo by: B. Novotny

game on the road against Milford. Members of the team had hoped that the home court advantage would be enough to pull out the season’s first victory. Regardless, players recognized the difference in the environment and performed for the crowd accordingly.

“Being at home, [it] felt really good having all the Jeff fans there supporting us,” Alyse Petersen ’23 said. “Going into the game, I was really excited for my team and I to compete against them and [work] hard.”


Izze Schwab ’20 faces her teammates between serves. The senior setter had 36 assists and also contributed 5 kills, 2 blocks and 6 digs for the Jeffs. Photo by: B. Novotny

Lighting up the box score for the Jeffs were Sara Huss ’20 (15 kills, 3 aces, 4 blocks, 6 digs), Izze Schwab ’20 (6 digs, 36 assists) and Karly McCord ’22 (18 kills). As a team, Fairbury racked up 47 kills, 33 digs and 10 blocks.

“I think our team performed really well,” Petersen said. “We had great serves and passes, and we were relaxed but focused at the same time. My favorite part of the night was being able to pick up a lot of the tips and rally for a long amount of time.”

The Jeffs last faced the Bulldogs when they pulled off an upset win in a five-set thriller in the 2018 season’s playoffs. The five seniors participating in that game have since graduated. Returning players could not help but remember the emotions that arose from the match last October.


Senior Sara Huss serves it up in front of the neon-themed student section. Huss led her team in aces (3) and blocks (4), and she tied with three teammates for the most digs (6). Photo by: B. Novotny

“I felt super nervous playing Auburn again,” Briaunna Knothe ’21 said. “It was obviously a little nerve-racking but it felt good to be playing on our home court. We didn’t win but I feel as if we did great competitively.”

The Jeffs will stay on their home court when they take on Thayer Central on Tuesday, September 10.