Hazen defends home floor
By Jarann Johnson
Beulah and Hazen are in two different positions at this point in the season. Hazen’s program boasts experienced players and a familiar head coach.
Beulah has players adjusting to the demands of varsity volleyball and a new head coach. Last Tuesday the rivals met and Hazen’s experience and familiarity was too much to overcome.
Hazen won the Coal Country rivalry on their home floor 3-0: 25-8, 25-7, and 25-11.
The first set started out strongly favoring Hazen. Hazen committed one error, a netting violation, during a 7-1 start. Highlights of Hazen’s start included two Beth Leier aces and a block by Krista Slaubaugh.
Leier added another ace early in the set, giving her team an 8-1 lead. Beulah never recovered from Leier and Hazen’s strong start, falling 25-8.
The second set was another strong set for Hazen. Hazen led 11-1 early in the set and Beulah never threatened, falling 25-7.
Hazen’s defense and offense clearly overpowered Beulah in the first two sets, but Beulah showed a little bit of fight in the third set. Beulah tied the set twice in the early going, which was a great showing for the young team.
Beulah and Hazen were tied at 2-2 and 3-3. Hazen followed the 3-3 tie by going on a 3-0 run, which was started by an Eva Byerley kill.
Beulah won a side out to end Hazen’s streak, but couldn’t re-tie the game. Hazen went on a 5-0 run to build a 10-4 lead.
After Hazen’s run Beulah tried to answer, scoring two points, but Hazen wasn’t going to let a chance at a home sweep escape and won the set 25-11.
After the game Beulah Head Coach Brian Filibeck said his team has been making positive steps, but that his team lacked effort for most of the match.
“I felt like we’ve been making positive steps. Tonight, I didn’t see the little things I’ve been asking for. We know Hazen is really good, we knew it was going to be a tough match. But the little things like effort, I don’t think we gave our effort getting to balls like we normally do,” Filibeck said.
Filibeck was also disappointed with two other areas during the game, focusing on serving and passing as problem areas during the match.
“We’ve been focusing on passing and that was just not good tonight. I mean, everything we were passing tonight was backwards or out-of-bounds. When it comes to our fundamentals, the couple of things we want do in our program, they weren’t there tonight,” Filibeck said.
Even though Filibeck was disappointed with his inexperienced team’s performance, he was happy seeing some fight and excitement in the final set.
“We talked about giving that effort and giving each other a smile and wanting to be here to play. So I was happy to see, for those first six or seven points, that there was a spark. So I guess we just have to keep looking for those little things. Some of those little things are coming,” Filibeck said.