Invite champ makes eight-for-eight
By Robyn Rohde
Though in different districts and different regions, Center-Stanton and Hazen seem to always be competing for at least one title … the champion of the Center-Stanton Invitational Tournament. Last year the Wildcats mastered a brilliant come-from-behind victory to claim the trophy for the home team. This season, however, the trophy crafted by the sweat of the C-S agricultural students, left the nest as the Bison tamed the Wildcats in both meetings this past week.
The Wildcats began the week with a trip to Bison territory Sept. 9. Hazen struck first as Allison Opp sent Connie Miller to the floor for the kill. Bison out-of-bounds errors kept the score close until a pair of Becca Hovey right side kills and a Bailey Henke block tied the score at 8-8. Hovey served three more points before Hazen earned the side out.
What would a good game be without multiple lead changes? That’s just what the Bison set out to answer as they fought back to tie at 13-13 with Samantha Ziegler serving. A long rally eventually ended in a Hazen side out.
“Our serving and passing wasn’t there at times,” Wildcat head coach Janet Erhardt said. “I’m not too concerned. Everything we need is there, we just need to put it into action.”
The Hazen combo of Stef Bohrer, Kara Dietz and Opp was the offense needed to put the Bison up 18-15 to force a C-S timeout. Dietz hit out of bounds when play resumed to earn a Wildcat side out. The possession quickly returned to Hazen after Opp hit once and Miller dug the deep hit for a perfect setup for round two, which Opp cashed in to complete the kill and put her team up 22-17.
Wildcat senior Shantell Schutt held off the game point just long enough for her squad to rally three more points before Opp slammed down a kill to the far back as Hazen took the first game 25-19.
In the second game, Dietz picked apart a non-communicative Wildcat defense to climb ahead 8-2 before Hovey sent a shot down the right sideline.
“We missed too many serves,” Erhardt said. “We were a little too anxious on defense. That’s tough to defend when they’re pounding and pounding at you.”