Seniors pile it on the Knights; Bellmont sweeps Norwell
ACCESS DENIEDâ€” The Squaws flexed their defensive muscles on Tuesday night protecting home court on Senior Night with a win over Norwell in three games. Bailee Hankenson (#7) and Madison Glancy (#5) tag-team a block at the net against the Knightsâ€™ Olivia Geiger. (Photo by Cassandra Lehman)
After shutting down the Bluffton Tigers on Monday night, the Squaws turned their attention to another Wells County team on Tuesday as Bellmont swept Norwell on senior night 25-22, 25-11, 25-23.
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With eight seniors to juggle in the line-up, coach Craig Krull started an out of the ordinary group on the floor consisting of all fourth year players. The set-up worked well out of the gate as Bellmont led 8-4 but the Knights maintained a pesky few points back the entire opening set frustrating the Squaws at times with their spirited effort on defense.
A 14-10 lead shrunk to 14-13 when Norwell's Halie McMillan blasted three straight kills for the Knights. The Squaws would answer with three straight points of their own and eventually led 19-14 . The Knights simply would not go away, however, and their efforts were best shown on a point when they trailed 20-18.
During a rally that went back and forth three different times, the Knights appeared to be headed for a sideout off of a Holly Hankenson kill attempt but libero Kendall Beckstein lunged a few feet in front of her bench to just get a hand on a tipped ball. Laken Chaney was there for the clean-up as she alertly knocked the third hit sharply back to the Bellmont side where two Squaws miscued on the return giving the point to the Knights.
"I don't know if we came in expecting to blow through Norwell but we just seemed out of sync in that opening set," noted Krull. "We gave them a lot of momentum with our errors and I give them a lot of credit for keeping us on our toes with their aggressive play."
The senior night bliss was over at that point when Norwell tied the score at 22-22 prompting coach krull to bring in normal starter Janaya Wilder. The junior's presence was felt right away as she had the next point's kill to give BHS the lead followed by a Holly Hankenson blow. A Norwell miscue on the serve would give the Squaws the set win on three straight points.
The second set, coach Krull went back to his normal six in their normal rotation and the results spoke for themselves as the Squaws broke a 6-6 tie early going on a 19-5 run to take a 2-0 set lead.