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Owls volleyball takes second in UMM tournament

On Tuesday the Owls traveled to Henning to play a much improved and scrappy Hornet team and came away with a 3-1 win with scores of 25-9, 25-22, 25-27, 25-17. Hancock started the match out strong serving and hitting the ball consistently and hard. Henning picked up their game in the next three games and Hancock struggled a bit with passing but were able to pull away in game four to win the match.

Kendra Schmidgall led the team with 29 kills followed by Courtney Greiner with 17. Ali Reese and Kendra each had 14 digs and Shae Brown had 45 set assists.

On Thursday Hancock played a conference match at home against Clinton Graceville Bearsley and won in three games with scores of 25-13, 25-11, 25-18. The Owls were able to take control early in each of these sets and the girls never allowed CGB to get into their offense. Kendra led the team with 15 kills followed by Courntey with 9 and Ali with 6. Shae had another nice night setting coming away with 26 set assists. Lexi Steege led the team with 14 digs.

On Saturday the Owls traveled to UMM for a ten team tournament and ended the day playing for the championship against a very strong Sauk Centre team. Hancock received 2nd place with scores of 20-25, 14-25. The first match in pool play was against Lac qui Parle Valley and Hancock won this 25-10, 25-21.

The next match was against a tough 3A St. Cloud Apollo. After jumping out to a big lead in the first match 14-6 Apollo was able to get back in the set with their strong serving where the Owls struggled getting the pass up to get our offense going. Hancock lost a close first game 22-25 and then came out again in set two and jumped to an early 14-8 lead before Apollo came storming back. It was tight going back and forth but Hancock was able to pull out a 25-23 win which brought them to set 3.

Hancock again jumped out to an early lead of 11-7 before Apollo made a run cutting it to 10-12 before we were able to pull away with a 15-11 win.

The next match was against Breckenridge and Hancock won in two sets 25-20, 25-16. The last match in pool play was against Minnewaska and although Hancock did not play the best, struggling with passing and serving, the Owls found a way to win with scores of 25-22, 25-20.

This gave Hancock a 4-0 record in pool play and matching up against a very tough Sauk Centre team who made it to state last year. The Owls were able to stick with them in the first set going back and forth but came up short 20-25. Hancock was not able to get any momentum in set two and Sauk Centre's big hitters took control of the set losing 25-14 and giving the Owls a 2nd place finish for the day.

"I was very proud of these girls today," said Coach Kristi Fehr. "They played five matches against 4 2A schools and 3A school and just ran out of gas at the end. It was a great learning experience for some of these girls who have not seen this kind of volleyball played on the other side of the net before. It is teams and competition like this that is going to make us better and we had a lot of close sets today where they had to dig deep and find a way to win."

Kendra Schmidgall was named to the All-Tournament Team. Hancock has two home matches this week playing ECHO on Tuesday and a very tough Wheaton team Thursday.