YORKTOWN—Despite jumping to class 4A after their tournament success in the past two seasons, the Yorktown Tigers continued their tradition of inviting the Bellmont Squaws to one of the toughest volleyball tournaments in the state on Saturday.
The Squaws responded with a 1-3 showing against a pair of 4A teams and two 3A squads near the top of the class polls this season.
"This tournament was filled with high quality teams that pushed us to the limit," praised coach Craig Krull. "We were very consistent with stats and our play but we just need to be able to make a big play count when we need that extra push."
The Squaws came into the Saturday event with a tidy 5-0 record including a tight win against Concordia Lutheran who they played first at Yorktown.
The Cadets earned their revenge in two sets during the opener by a 26-24, 25-23 score.
"This match was a continuation from Tuesday's battle," noted Krull. "Each team made mini-runs throughout the match but the Cadets were able to score points and hold on for the win."
The Squaws made minimal errors in the contest but the ones they did commit proved to be costly down the stretch against Concordia. Holly Hankenson led the attack with six kills, while Madalyn Mann, Janaya Wilder, and Liv Fuelling each contributed five kills to the losing cause. Bailee Hankenson finished with 22 assists and two blocks, while Fuelling also had two blocks.
Against 3A Delta, Bellmont trailed the entire first set but then went on a late run to lead 21-17. The Eagles would storm back taking two sets 25-23, 25-21.
"They sent back their senior leader and setter and before she was done, they were ahead of us 23-22," recalled Krull. Points were traded after that but the Eagles held on to the first set win. The second set was similar in that Delta made a late run and won out.
Holly finished with six kills again in the loss with Taylor Rhymer finishing with four kills. Wilder (eight digs) and Fuelling had three kills each. Mann would have two aces and three kills. Bailee would finish with 15 assists.
In the third game of the day for Bellmont, Westfield would prove to be a cake walk as the Squaws would have time between the afternoon matches to refuel and rest.
The match took even longer to begin due to a leaky roof issue but after the match began, the 4A school had no shot against the fiery Bellmont squad as the Squaws took a 25-17, 25-17 win to the mattresses.
Bellmont took an early lead on the Shamrocks by as many as 10 at one point and used consistent play to win the first set. At one point in the match, Wilder would stroke a back-row kill with some force as the ball planted off of a Westfield player's face and into the stands.
"The player was fine, but the tone had been set at that point," remembered Krull. "We were just ready for the challenge that match."