Maggie Case led the defending district champions to a 15-4, 15-4 victory.
By JOHN BUTERA
AUSTINTOWN -- Despite playing its first match of the season, defending district champion Austintown Fitch High showed mid-season form Wednesday with a 15-4, 15-4 volleyball victory over visiting Massillon Jackson.
Playing its fourth match of the season made little difference for Jackson (2-2) as the Falcons jumped out early, using unselfish play and an outstanding defense for the victory.
"[Jackson] won [the Federal League] last year, so I was surprised to get ahead of them as much as we did," Fitch coach Tom Case said.
With Megan Casey in the serving position, Fitch took a 4-0 lead, and behind outstanding play from Sarai Miller, the Falcons moved out to a 7-0 lead.
Leading the way: Jackson managed a point, but Fitch answered with six in a row, including a spike from Maggie Case, to make it 13-1. Case led the Falcons with nine points, nine kills, one ace and two blocks.
Behind nice placements from Miller, who finished with six points and five blocks, Fitch burst out to an 8-1 margin in the second game.
The Falcons increased the lead to 11-1 and 12-3 before Stacie Mang finished things off with a dink.
"I think the key for us was that we were able to push their center off the net, and from there, she couldn't get into their offense," Tom Case said.
Mang led Fitch with 12 assists and contributed four points. Casey and Katie McDermott each added four points.
"I was happy with everything we did tonight. We were anxious to have our first match," Fitch senior Ashlee Lemke said. "I did expect it to be a little tougher, but once we got off to a good start, it seemed we were able to keep things rolling."
Veteran team: Fitch returns four seniors from last year's team that finished 24-2 and lost in the regional semifinal.
"We have some matches coming up against some quality teams, but it was fun for the kids to get this first one out of the way," Tom Case said.