The Faribault Falcons outlasted the Farmington Tigers tonight in a five set thriller at Nomeland Gym.

The Tigers ran away with the first set 25-13 thanks in large part to struggles by the Falcons in the serve reception department.

Faribault ran away in the second set 25-15 by showing they can play efficiently.  Senior Maggie Leichtnam hammered home six kills and classmate Olivia Bauer added 4 more kills to lead the team to victory.  The Falcons had just 3 hitting errors in the set.

Faribault edged Farmington 25-23 in set three.  It was the Tigers turn to struggle with 11 errors.

Farmington captured the 4th set 25-15 thanks in large part to the Falcons committing 4 service errors, 13 total mistakes in the set.

Farmington led 9-5 in the fifth set after the service woes continued for Faribault.  The Falcons had 4 service errors among the first 8 points scored by the Tigers but Faribault came back to make the score 10-9 before winning 15-10.

There were three memorable volleys in the fifth set that Faribault ended up gaining a point due to a never say die mentality.  I call it scramble mode when a team simply picks up balls and plays on the fly.

Falcons Head Coach Joanna Lane told KDHL she was frustrated with the 14 service errors by her team but was very proud of the heart her team played with.

Faribault simply refused to let a ball hit the floor when they came from behind and won the fifth set.

Junior libero Clara Malecha had 17 digs, senior Olivia Bauer 16 digs on the night.

Baur also had 16 kills while hitting .394.  Those two Falcons were named our Malecha's Auto Body Crunch Time Players of the game but more could have been added for the award.

For example Leichtman hit .304 with 9 kills. Junior Isabel Herda connected for 3 kills in the fifth set, finishing with 6.  Junior Addison Dietsch finished with 6 kills.

Faribault ended the night with 44 kills and a .248 hit percentage.  They also had 64 total digs in the five set match.

Herda and senior Whitton Wolff had 19 and 20 assists respectively

Senior Meghan Swanson sprained her ankle just before Faribault's season opener at Byron last Thursday.  This will be her third year as a starter.  Add her to the mix and look out because this team has multiple players who can put the ball away.

That means teams can't key on any particular Faribault players.

The Falcons clearly need to cut down on their mistakes.  Add 17 hitting errors to the 14 service errors and throw in some double hits, lifts and in-the-net calls and it's amazing Faribault won the match.

Faribault hosts Mankato East Thursday, September 5, 2021 in their Big Nine Conference opener.

Farmington has Rochester Mayo come to their gym Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

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