Squaws go 5-0; down Lady Stars in straight sets
FINDING THE CRACKSâ€”Bellmont throws a trio of blockers (L-R: Janaya Wilder, Holly Hankenson, Bailee Hankenson) against SAâ€™s Alyssa Bluhm but the Starfire senior manages to get one by for a score. Bellmont won the war, however, in three sets. (Photo by Deb Shannon)
The Squaws improved to 5-0 on Thursday night with a convincing three-set victory over the cross-county Lady Starfires of South Adams 25-10, 25-7, 25-19.
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Bellmont now owns county bragging rights with wins against SA and the Lady Jets as they scored early and often against the young South Adams squad jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the opening frame and carrying it on throughout the first two sets.
"They have a few experienced girls from the last few seasons but adding so many younger girls they're going to have their struggles," noted Bellmont coach Craig Krull. "They have a lot of talent to work with though."
The Starfires jumped back into the game trailing just 7-5 to counter the Bellmont start and kept the game close at 12-8, but the Squaws would explode with a 9-0 run behind the serving of Bailee Hankenson. Bellmont led 21-8 putting the set out of reach early eventually finishing with four more points out of the final six.
In the second set, coach Krull put in a few subs after the Squaws leapt out early once again taking a 9-0 lead before Jessah Okoniewski finally sailed a serve too long. The senior had two aces in the opening salvo of the second set.
Things went from bad to worse for SA in the second set as Bellmont kept the foot on the gas. After the Lady Stars scored two to make it 10-2, Bellmont scored five straight to lead 15-2 forcing another SA timeout.
"The second game was a little rough with our passing errors," explained SA coach Amie Sprunger. "I can take some of that blame because I wanted to rotate a few subs into the game who don't normally play in those positions."
The Stars would only score five more points, while spotting Bellmont 10 in the latter half of the second set.
South Adams earned their only lead of the match in the opening points of the third set taking a 2-1 lead but the Bellmont second stringers came back quickly with two points of their own flopping the lead. From there, Bellmont would lead 10-7, then go on a 3-0 run to push the lead to six points.
Despite the constant lead, Bellmont would allow South Adams to hang around in the third set as the Stars trailed by as much as eight points (17-11), then came within four points at 19-15.
"We made a lot of mental, simple mistakes and luckily South Adams was making those mistakes as well keeping us in our rhythm," analyzed coach Krull of his second unit in the third set.