In order to dodge an FCIAC school in the first round of the Class LL playoffs, the Fairfield Warde girls volleyball team needs to win every game it can.

The Mustangs did just that on Wednesday, rolling over Harding 3-0 (25-10, 25-11, 25-21) at Harding High School.

"Every win is a nice one," Warde coach Matt Narwold said. "We need every win for state standing."

Kelsey Elmendorf had 15 service points, nine aces and 10 kills and junior Jocie Thibault had six service points, four aces and six digs as the Mustangs improved to 9-8. Warde currently sits in 22nd place in Class LL with one match to play, with Darien, Ridgefield and Staples all lurking at the top of the standings.

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"I want to go in knowing we did everything we can do to not play an FCIAC team in the first round of states," Narwold said.

Despite a sluggish start in game one which led to a 3-1 deficit, Warde bounced back with Elmendorf recording the six straight service points and three aces to boost the Mustangs to an 8-3 advantage. Rebecca Stern, Kitty Caissy and Jerelyn Luther all had a pair of aces as Warde lifted its advantage to 17-7.

"We were kind of dead in the first game," Elmendorf said. "We had to pick up the energy and play our game."

Elmendorf had two kills and Grace Price closed the game with two aces as the Mustangs won the final four points, taking game one 25-10.

In game two, an Elmendorf kill and Leah Walsh's three straight aces gave the Mustangs a 4-0 advantage and Warde took off from there, building a 13-3 advantage behind two kills from Angie Walker and an ace from Stern.

"They needed to play hard and they needed to play smart," Narwold said. "And that's what they did, especially in the second game."

Elmendorf's two aces put the Mustangs ahead 24-10 and Luther's kill finished the game.

Narwold pulled some starters in game three, as Thibault had two aces to give Warde a 4-1 lead in game three. Thibault added two more aces later in the game as the Mustangs built a 21-12 lead and held on, to take the contest, 25-21.

Narwold and Elmendorf were excited to see some of the younger players continue to improve and get varsity experience.

"What you saw in that third game is what you're going to see in Warde volleyball next year," Narwold said. "It's nice to be able to show to the fans and to their teammates that they deserve to be on the court."

"I'm excited to see them improve," Elmendorf said.

The Mustangs will close their season today with a contest at home against Greenwich at 6 p.m.