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Hancock Volleyball team champions of Minnewaska tournament

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by Kristi Fehr

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Owls volleyball team faced E.C.H.O. Charter school and won in three sets 25-3, 25-12, 25-10. This was a nice match as everyone was able to play and get some varsity playing time. Kendra Schmidgall led with 10 kills and Courtney Greiner had five. Shae Brown had 10 assists and also went 28/29 with eight aces in serving.

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Thursday night's match against conference rival, Wheaton, was a completely different story. The gym was packed and the crowd was loud and it was a nail biter from start to finish. Hancock came out in set one and did a nice job getting the offense going, pounding the ball down to win that set 25-19.

Set two was the exact opposite where the passing and serving fell apart and Wheaton's hitters stepped up their game. Hancock lost this set 25-12. Set three went back and forth with both teams hitting the ball hard and hustling for plays. The Owls were able to pull away with a 25-22 win.

Set four saw Wheaton coming out and gaining a big lead while Hancock struggled and fought to get any momentum going. Hancock ended up losing set four 20-25. The deciding fifth set saw the Owls struggle early, getting behind 4-8 before they were able to settle down and get into the offense. Ali Reese served points 9-13 to make the score 13-11 before Wheaton rattled off three points to make the score 14-13. With Shae Brown at the serving line, she was able to serve out points 14-16 along with two big kills from Kendra Schmidgall to end the game with the Owls winning 16-14.

"This was a very intense match from start to finish" said Coach Kristi Fehr. "The girls did a great job of fighting back in set five when things were not going our way and finding a way to win."

Saturday the Owls traveled to Minnewaska for an eight team tournament. Again the pool consisted of three 2A schools so the Owls knew they were up against some tough competition.

The first match was against New London- Spicer. Hancock came out very flat and non-aggressive in this set and made a lot of mental errors with their passing, serving and hitting losing set one 27-25.

Hancock turned things around in set two and completely dominated the set winning 25-9. The next match was against a very quick and good Perham team. Again the Owls struggled to get their offense going having trouble with communication and effort. After getting themselves in a hole they fought back and went back and forth trading points but coming up short losing 29-31. Set two went the same way but Hancock was able to put the game away with Courtney Greiner at the serving line for points 19-25 to win this set 25-22.

The last pool play match was against Osakis and Hancock played much more focussed and disciplined in these two sets winning them 25-14, 25-16. Even though the Owls split with NL-S and Perham, they picked up the win because they scored more points than each team which put them in first in the pool against a much improved Minnewaska team.

Hancock was able to jump out to a big lead and served agressively and never really allowed them to get into this set which they won 25-16. Set two was much closer going back and forth the whole set until Hancock was able to come away with a 25-23 win to take first place in the tournament.

"This was a long day and we played some very tough teams" said Coach Fehr. "Even though I didn't think we played our best volleyball, I was extremely proud of the way they found a way to win and work together as a team."

Hancock's record is now 13-1. There were two away games this week at Dawson-Boyd on Tuesday and Ortonville on Thursday

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