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Hancock VB team takes first at tournament

The Lady Owls volleyball team traveled to ECHO Charter on Tuesday night and came away with a 3-0. ECHO is a young team that is building their program and to their credit they never gave up throughout the whole match. The Owls spent a lot of time in this match serving. Kendra Schmidgall, Courtney Greiner, and Lauren Nelson each had six kills to lead the Owls in hitting. Nelson served 21-21 with 10 aces and Tara Flaten did a great job serving 11-13 with five aces. Aria Walstad had 18 set assists and also went over the 1,000 set assists in this match.

On Saturday the Owls traveled to Minnewaska to compete in a strong eight team tournament. The first match they played was against a strong Perham team. The Owls won the first set 25-20 and lost the second set 21-25, but came away with the win because they scored more points than Perham. The second game in pool play was against Minnewaska and they won both sets with scores of 25-19, 25-15. The girls did a nice job in both of these matches serving consistently and aggressively and also finding the holes in their opponents defense. The last match in pool play was against an improved and scrappy Ortonville team and won 25-20, 25-17. They played really flat in the match and could never really get the offense going to build any momentum. To Ortonville's credit they showed great hustle and fought for every point. Luckily, the Owls were able to get a few serving runs going towards the end of both sets to get the win.

This gave them first place in our pool and were matched against a very tough Benson team for the championship. The Owls knew that they were going to have to step-up their game and play an all-around consistent match to win.

The first set was close with both teams going back and forth and showing strong hitting, blocking, and hustle but the Owls were able to win this set 27-25. The second set showed pretty much the same thing but the Owls pulled away with a 19-12 lead, but Benson fought back and had a big serving run where they ended up winning the set 23-25. Again this set started going back and forth with points until about point seven where the Owls got some key kills and blocks to pull away with a 13-8 lead and Nelson finished the match with two tough serves for a 15-8 victory.

"This was a very fun and exciting match to watch," commented coach Kristi Fehr. "Each team had strong hitters and blockers on both sides and showed great hustle in all the sets. I was extremely proud of the way the girls came out after playing flat in our previous match. Our front line did an excellent job hitting and blocking which gave our diggers the opportunity to dig those hard hits that came from Auch and Peterson."

Schmidgall led the team with 21 kills followed by Greiner who played incredibly solid at the net having 10 kills and two ace blocks. Walstad really did a nice job mixing up the offense dishing out 35 assists and also having three ace blocks. The back row did a great job hustling with Schmidgall having 16 digs followed by Koehl with 14 and Nelson with 10. This brings the volleyball team's overall record to 10-1.