Wildcats sent warning to District 9
By Jarann Johnson
The Center-Stanton Wildcats battled two Region 5 and District 9 powers last week. Picking up wins against the powerful teams is a boost of confidence for the team’s belief that they can win a Region 5 crown.
The Wildcats went on the road and handled Grant County 3-1 to start the week. Then, later in the week, the Wildcats topped off Flasher 3-1 to send their message loud and clear.
The match against Flasher started off going well for Center-Stanton. Center-Stanton led 5-1 early in the first set and Abby Hintz recorded two kills.
The set rolled along smoothly for Center-Stanton from there, up 17-7, but a bad spell let Flasher go on a four-point run, making the score 17-12. Hintz struggled at that juncture during the game, committing two hitting errors and hitting a third ball out of play.
Hintz’s tough streak didn’t last much longer, though, and Center-Stanton closed out a 25-15 win. The last point of the set was a serving error by Flasher.
The second set of the game didn’t start off well for Center-Stanton, and they found themselves down 5-0. Hitnz recorded the first kill for Center-Stanton to break the streak, but pulling through proved to be tough.
Flasher kept swatting Center-Stanton back. Center-Stanton got close to forcing an early tie with an 8-7 score, but recorded an error on the play.
Flasher was successful at limiting Hintz, but then Center-Stanton came alive and went on an eight-point run after trailing by five, to grab possession of the lead. Hintz recorded four kills during the run and Katie Windhorst added two aces, making the score 18-15 in Center-Stanton’s favor.
Center-Stanton’s lead wouldn’t hold. The game was tied three times at 18-18, 19-19 and 21-21 before Flasher pulled away late for the win to retie the game at one set each. Center-Stanton gave up a 3-0 run after the 21-all tie, but tried to fight back.
Tristen Henke pushed a ball across, making the score 24-22, but Center-Stanton couldn’t battle all the way back facing set-point. Flasher recorded a kill, ending the set 25-22.
The third set was another bad start for Center-Stanton and they trailed 7-1. Center-Stanton didn’t get discouraged, though, and countered with two small 3-0 runs, which were aided by three balls hit out of play, a hitting error, and a serving error, to pull within two points, 11-9.
From there the game transitioned into a series of ties without either team taking the lead. The set was tied seven times with the last tie being at 21-21.
Center-Stanton went on a 3-0 run, breaking the tie and building a 24-21 lead. Flasher responded with a block to stay alive, but couldn’t stop Hintz.
Hintz recorded a kill to end the set and give her team a 25-22 win.
The fourth and final set was also a close battle. The set was tied six times at 19-19, but would have a few more draws on the scoreboard.
Originally Center-Stanton looked like they were in trouble after giving up a 3-0 run and trailing 22-19. Center-Stanton didn’t panic, though, and responded with a 3-0 run to re-tie the game at 22-22.