October 7, 2015

Hazen volleyball dominates

BY JARANN JOHNSON
Sometimes words are cheap and don’t clearly express a great performance. Last Tuesday Hazen Bison volleyball fans walked away from a home Region 7 game against Hettinger-Scranton at a loss for words.

Hazen quickly dissected Hettinger-Scranton in the third and fi nal set 25-1. Yes, that is correct Hettinger-Scranton only scored one point in the fi nal set of the match.

After winning the first two sets, Hazen Head Coach Linette Irwin said the reason for the big difference was strong passing in the final set.

“The difference is passing. We didn’t pass very well in the fi rst two sets. Our passing got 100 percent better in the second and third-to-last set,” Irwin added.

“The ball was just dead off our platforms and it just wasn’t coming off right. I said, ‘I am not sure what this is,’ and then they came out and started passing.”

In the first two sets, Hettinger-Scranton played a scrappy brand of volleyball, which allowed them to hustle to most balls and at least make scoring challenging for Hazen. Coach Irwin agreed the team did a good job of hustling but, in the third set, Hazen stopped waiting for mistakes and forced Hettinger-Scranton into more during the third set.

“The kids (Hettinger-Scranton) were playing like that (scrappy), and that’s what we expected. We just told the kids you can’t wait for other teams to beat themselves. We have to go out and beat teams,” Irwin said.

There was one interesting coaching decision, letting Courtney Rask serve more. Irwin explained the move was required because of Eva Byerley’s ankle tweak and credited Rask with doing a strong job.

The big question for Hazen is if they’re going to be ready for Region 7 leaders Dickinson Trinity in the postseason. Irwin pointed to a tournament win during the last weekend of September as a reason why she thinks her team can compete against Trinity.

“We came back and we beat them in the tournament [Oct. 26],” Irwin said. “So I think we learned our lesson. We knew what we needed to work on, so we fi xed different things and the kids played better on Saturday. If we look at the teams, comparing the teams player-for-player, we match up pretty well. I think talent-wise it’s pretty wise. We looked at some stuff and I think we have it fi gured out,” Irwin said.


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