November 20, 2008

Season-highs almost clinch it for Bison

On Tuesday, the collective efforts of all those wearing the white and green set a record of aces as Hazen kept their perfect streak alive against the Tigers with a clean sweep.

"We recorded what could well be a season-high 17 aces," head coach Kim Wolf said. "When we are serving that well, it certainly makes winning a lot easier. In spite of that, the team knew they had to stay really focused. New England runs a nice, up-tempo offense that requires you to make quick reads on the ball and position quickly."

As the action heated up in game one, ties were the common denominator. Deadlocked at 17-17, the teams traded errors before Kara Dietz blew a kill past the Tiger block to take the Hazen lead at 20-19. Then tied up again at 21 it was Jenna Maas this time that ravaged the New England open corner for a kill. It was her ace at 23-23 that swayed the momentum in Hazen’s favor. Allison Opp came through in the clutch with a kill followed immediately by a block to close game one at 26-24.

Hazen setter Brianna Beecher saw more digs than assists midway through the second game but it was just another indicator of the Bison versatility as they charged ahead 16-10.

Opp blasted two of her five aces to get the Bison into a game point situation but it was Dietz’s quick reflexes that kept the volleyball alive as Maas’ tight kill closed game two at 25-14.

New England had a slim lead to start game three but it didn’t last long as the points tug-of-war commenced until the Bison were back up with a Maas kill at 13-10. An Opp block and Dietz ace kept Hazen on the path to victory at 17-14. Sarah Grimm got in on the action with a kill from the outside at 23-18. But it was Maas who once again took the match into her own hands for the shot down the right sideline and a final 25-20 score.

"(New England) had a number of weapons that we needed to respect," Wolf said. "Our team defense worked hard to help us win this match in three and move us into the regional championship match – a goal set on day one."

The Weather Network