Squaws win Warsaw Invitational
WARSAW CHAMPSâ€”Bellmontâ€™s varsity volleyball squad came away 4-0 and tournament champions at the Warsaw Invitational Saturday. Front row (L to R): Audrey Schultz, Sarah Norder. Second row: Emily Roman, Bailee Hankenson, Rachel Salerno, Taylor Rhymer, and Madalyn Mann. Back row: Coach Craig Krull, Liv Fuelling, Janaya Wilder, Natalie Busse, Holly Hankenson, and Sadie Alberson. (Photo provided)
WARSAW—Bellmont shook off a heart-breaking loss to Carroll on Saturday by going undefeated at the Warsaw Invitational earning the championship over Lafayette Jeff in two sets.
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Going 4-0 on the day, coach Craig Krull's Squaws were on a mission to avenge their loss to arch-rival Carroll and the field at Warsaw happened to be simply casualties of war starting with Southwood in Bellmont's opener, followed by rematches with North Side and Bishop Luers, and finally a win over Jeff in the final game.
"It was a good day overall," noted coach Krull. "It was a good way to come off of Carroll and we really came out with energy that lasted throughout the day."
Coming out of the gate has not been Bellmont's strong suit this season but the girls may be attempting to right the ship with the way they started against Southwood, ranked #8 in 2A.
"Southwood always has a quality team and we came out and started unlike any match this year...actually in the lead," joked Krull.
The Squaws took the contest with no problem after bombarding the Lady Knights early and often, 25-11, 25-18. Bellmont's serving and defense helped set the tone in the opener keeping Southwood from getting into any sort of rhythm.
Janaya Wilder led with nine kills and four aces, while Holly Hankenson had six kills and an ace. Bailee Hankenson finished with two kills, 19 assists, and eight digs, while Madalyn Mann and Audrey Schultz had three kills each.
In match two, the Squaws met with North Side for the second time this season. Much like the first, Bellmont got the better of the Redskins in a 25-15, 25-15 decision.
"We overmatched them in every aspect," noted Krull. "Our serving got them out of system and our offense hit many shots to score points. We stayed mentally strong throughout the match and did not let up."
Coach Krull managed to spread the stats of match two getting all his players in for some quality playing time as Bellmont coasted for the win.
Holly Hankenson led with six kills, while Wilder had five with two aces and a solo block. Mann had three kills with four digs, Bailee Hankenson had a kill with 19 assists, Schultz had five kills and Sadie Alberson had two kills and an assisted block. Natalie Busse, Rachel Salerno, and Emily Roman got in on the defensive end with two, one, and four digs respectively. Taylor Rhymer and Liv Fuelling each aided the offense with a kill off the bench.
In match three, Bellmont had to face another familiar foe in the Bishop Luers Knights defeating the Fort Wayne foe in two sets 25-17, 25-17.
"This was one match we could not overlook," described coach K.
Luers, already down their senior setter, suffered another set back earlier losing a player to a concussion, but a spirited effort kept the match interesting as the Squaws never really pulled away until late in the sets.