BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison Bloodhounds squandered a 2-0 lead Tuesday night and fell in five sets to visiting Fairfield in Southeast Conference high school volleyball action.
Class 4A regional pairing were released Tuesday night and the two teams are on a collision course for a season tie-breaker.
Fort Madison has a bye in the bottom half of the Region 8 Class 4A six-team bracket and will face the winner of the Oct. 17 Fairfield-Mt, Pleasant matchup on Oct. 23 in Fort Madison at 7 p.m. At the top of the bracket is Class 4A No. 2-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier. The Hounds were eliminated by the Lady Saints in the regional finals in 2017.
The regional finals would be played at the home of the highest ranked team on Oct. 29th at 7 p.m.
Other teams in the bracket include Washington and Keokuk who play in Washington on the 17th at 7 p.m.
In Tuesday’s action, the Hounds won the first game in fairly quick fashion 25-17 and had to come back in the second game from being down as much as five at one point to win 25-21.
The Hound then dropped the third and fourth games 22-25, 23-25 and fell 14-16 in the first-to-15-by-2 tiebreaker.
“We missed out on some opportunities in games 4 and 5 to win it. We had the momentum and made a serving error along with a couple of hitting errors,” Bailey said.
“This was a hard fought match between two good teams. Ultimately, Fairfield made the plays and pulled it out. Give them credit. We will learn from this and get better.”
Senior Josie Pumphrey led the Hounds going 21-23 serving with four aces on the night. She also had 32 digs on the night.
Senior Kaeli Hutson was a perfect 20-20 serving and went 43-48 at the net with 10 kills. She also had 25 digs. Junior Jillian Wiseman was 36-44 attacking and had 16 kills and two blocks for FMHS. Sophomore Lauren Bailey had 42 assists in the middle of the Bloodhound offense and was 22-25 serving with an ace.
Fairfield has won 14 matches in a row dating back to Sept. 8.
The junior varsity squad lost in three games and a 4-2 in the conference. The freshman team won in two games and are 6-0 in the loop. FMHS travels to Keokuk on Thursday for a freshman, junior varsity, varsity matchup.