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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Blackhawks edged by Saintes, end playoff run

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The night started out as Hinton's.

The No. 9 Blackhawks won their first set against Council Bluff St. Albert, but the No. 5 team pulled ahead to win the region final match 4-1.

With Wednesday's loss, Hinton ended the volleyball season with a 28-5 record.

The Blackhawks came out strong in the night's first set, sweeping it 25-14.

"Coming into it, we focused on everything that was in our game plan," Hinton volleyball coach Kate Ortegren said. "We kind of knew what was going to come at us and what we needed to do, and we did it."

But the second game was a much closer match, and in the end the Saintes took it 25-23.

"They made a few adjustments that brought them ahead that game, and we started making errors," Ortegren said.

The third set was close again, with Council Bluffs St. Albert pulling ahead to win 25-22.

"We went back and forth, where we'd be tied or we'd be up one or down one," Ortegren said. "We were so close to winning those, then we would have been 3-0 and done, but game four, Council Bluffs had the momentum."

In that fourth game, the Saintes took the upper hand, wrapping it up with a final score of 25-13.

"They were aggressive and a bit quicker and bigger than teams we've seen lately," Ortegren said. "We had a hard time adjusting to quick outside attack.

"We made quite a few serving and blocking errors, which is unlike us," she added.

The Blackhawks had no solo blocks for the night, but juniors Tori Bishop and Lauren Hedlund both had two assist blocks.

For Hinton's offense, Hedlund led the Blackhawks in kills with 12. Senior Sadie Shuck and junior Kasey Reuter added nine, and Bishop added eight for the night.

"That's pretty balanced offensively, and that was one of our plans, to get all of our hitters in the game," Ortegren said. "We know they'd have big blockers, so our focus was to keep every hitter in the offense so they (the Saintes) wouldn't know where it was going."

Senior Ashley Eaton did a nice job of turning the ball around to make that possible, Ortegren said. Eaton had 37 assists in the match.

Reuter served up four aces for the Blackhawks and Shuck and bishop both added two.

Senior Ali Kallsen went 13-for-13 serving and Eaton went 11-for-12.

"We made our longest runs point-wise when Ali was serving," Ortegren said.

Defensively, senior Breana Bollmeyer led with 15 digs.

"She did a great job on defense for us," Ortegren said.

Bishop added nine digs and Reuter added eight.

Hinton's 28-5 record this season included a 15-win streak to start off the year.

"Overall, our season was outstanding," Ortegren said. "This is such a fun group of girls."

The Blackhawk team will graduate five seniors this year, all of them who saw playing time, the coach said.

"It was such a great group of girls -- excellent leadership, great attitudes. They will be missed," she said.

The three juniors that were also in the Blackhawks' regular rotation saw time on the court too, and Ortegren said she's looking forward to having them back next year.

The Hinton team played hard Wednesday, she said.

"We just have to look at our season -- we made it to the regional finals," Ortegren said. "We did have an incredible season with only five loses. That's something to be proud of."

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