Hatchets spike way back to state, again
The Hatchet girls may not have a senior on the team, but they sure proved it doesn’t always take veterans to succeed.
Tomahawk survived a nail-biter five-game match with Antigo in Thursday’s sectional semi-final at Mosinee, then swept through Barron in three solid sets at Altoona on Saturday to earn their fourth consecutive trip to state.
“No one probably expected us to get this far with the players we lost to graduation, but anything can happen” THS coach Jerry Angle said. “We’ve got young players but by this time of year we don’t have any real freshmen anymore, not after 45 matches. Yeah, youth is something, but what skills you have is the only thing that really matters.
“The girls never gave up and had a lot of heart. We are very proud of our girls and their effort.”
THS (now 35-10 overall) will face Kettle Moraine Lutheran (33-10) in Friday’s D2 state semi-final. Kettle Moraine bumped off Catholic Memorial–the team to end the Hatchets last two seasons at state–in its sectional final.
“We weren’t sad to see they didn’t make it this year,” Angle said. “(Kettle Moraine) is a very good team and beat Catholic Memorial. They have a lot of really good athletes. We haven’t scouted them yet, but we know we’re going to have to play our best volleyball if we’re going to compete with them.”
Barron was barren of hope after Tomahawk applied a 25-15, 25-21 and 25-22 hammer.
“The Hatchets played a solid all around match,” Angle said. “The first game we came out very aggressive with our blocking and serving and won pretty easily.
“We came out really, really, really hot. We may have blocked the first two shots and got out to a big lead.
“The next two games, I thought Barron did a nice job of regrouping and serving tough to make us work hard for the win. Their crowd was really into it the next two games. It was a little closer for them (to travel) and they probably had a larger crowd than we did. Those next two games were extremely close, but we persevered. It came down to us playing good side-out volleyball.”
Sectional championship offerings came from: Anna Nyberg (16 kills, 2 blocks, 9 digs); Becca Doughty (26 assists, 5 d); Alex DuPlayee (5 k, 17 d); Amanda Schneider (8 aces, 9 d); Hanna Meyer (3 k, 8 d); Hanna Doughty (5 bl); Emily Schneider (5 k); and Madeline Garrison (4 d).
Tomahawk had split with Antigo in GNC play–winning on Sept. 11 and losing on Oct. 13–but pulled out this see-saw affair by a minimal margin, capturing a 25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13 match.
“That match was a real roller-coaster,” Angle said. “When Anna put that last ball down we were pretty fortunate to have gotten through the match with that kind of inconsistency.
“I thought we were loose this week and ready to play. We had a little trouble getting our offense started but then midway through game one, the girls started to get into a rhythm and took the set. Game two we lost a little bit of our focus and just couldn’t come back after digging ourselves a hole. The girls really came out hard in the beginning of game three and had a nice lead through most of that set but we let them chip away at points instead of beating them by more. Game four we were down most of the time and I have to give credit to the girls for coming back. We were down 20-24 and came back to tie 24-24 to keep the match alive. Then Antigo rattled off two points to take the set.
“Game five was back and forth until Becca Doughty set her sister, Hanna, a quick-set at 12-10. It was a nice play and I believe it gave us the momentum we needed to finish it out. We were able to get the ball to Anna and she closed out the match for us with a huge kill.”
Antigo contributions came from: Nyberg (29 k, 2 bl, 23 d); B. Doughty (3 k, 4 bl, 50 as, 11 d); Meyer (10 k, 2 bl, 25 d); DuPlayee (3 k, 28 d); H. Doughty (11 k, 8 bl); Garrison (15 d); A. Schneider (8 d); E. Schneider (3 bl, 4 d).
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