Squaws dominate Lady Warriors in home opener sweep
THRICE AS NICEâ€”Three Bellmont blockers contend with a Woodlan attacker during Thursdayâ€™s sweep of the Warriors at the Teepee. (L-R) Taylor Rhymer, Holly Hankenson, and Janaya Wilder defend. (Photo by Kalvin Fiechter)
The Squaws made the most out of their home opener with a three set sweep of the visiting Woodlan Warriors on Thursday night 25-10, 25-15, 25-19.
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Bellmont miscued on a few balls early in the first game but answered quickly with a run of six straight points to lead 6-2. Woodlan scored the next two points to make it 6-4 but then the Squaws turned on the jets and ran off 19 of the final 25 points to take the first set with ease.
"That first game we really took them out of their game and we did not give them an opportunity to come back," noted BHS coach Craig Krull.
The second set followed like the first one ended in that the Squaws poured on pressure at the net for the Warriors with constant block efforts on defense and quick sets on offense keeping the visiting team off balance all night long.
"They're always well coached and if you give them a chance they can be scrappy and they can take advantage but I really didn't think we gave them very many chances to get hot," praised Krull of Woodlan.
The Warriors trailed 11-4 in the second set and it looked as though Bellmont would run away with another frame but Brooke Gerbers did a nice job of setting up the heavy hitters for Woodlan and the score was 13-10 in favor of Bellmont thanks to a mini-run.
Coach Krull recalls the point in the match, "They got three or four points in a row at one point and I thought 'watch out, here they come' but then they would have a service error or we were able to terminate the run with a good ball of our own."
The Squaws would, indeed, have an answer for everything it seemed against the scrappy Warriors coming back with excellent placement on their kill attempts from Janaya Wilder, Madalyn Mann, and Taylor Rhymer off the sets of Bailee Hankenson. Despite the diversity, it was senior Holly Hankenson who attacked the Warriors the most knocking in 19 of her 35 kill attempts to lead the Squaws on offense.
Bellmont would balloon the lead to 20-11 on the strength of a 7-1 run and put away the second set to cripple the Warriors' chances of getting back into the match. Coach Krull took the opportunity early in the third set to put some second-tier varsity players into the mix.
"In that third game we really didn't lose a lot when we put some subs in but some of those girls came in a little nervous but we settled down and it was good to get everyone in the match," analyzed Krull.
Holly Hankenson would start set three with a big block at the net setting the tone early and when the Warriors scored three in a row to trail 4-3, it was Hankenson again with the answer as she smashed a kill down the sidelines. Wilder would follow that with a service ace and it was 7-3.
"I've been really happy with our mental toughness," noted the BHS coach. "Tonight was about improving what we did on Tuesday night against Dwenger. We have some miscommunications but you're going to have that and we'll continue to work on those as the season progresses."