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Hazen Bison volleyball sweeps Beulah, advances to Region 7 semifinals

The adage is that it's difficult to beat a team three times. For Hazen's volleyball team against Beulah this season, it got a little more difficult each time, but the Bison still prevailed. No win meant more, though, than Monday's when No. 2 seed...

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Hazen senior middle hitter Krista Slaubaugh, middle, sneaks a kill past the reach of Beulah junior middles Abrielle Shantz (left) and Hunter Keller Monday in their Region 7 tournament match at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Slaubaugh had 17 kills in Hazen's sweep. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

The adage is that it’s difficult to beat a team three times.

For Hazen’s volleyball team against Beulah this season, it got a little more difficult each time, but the Bison still prevailed.

No win meant more, though, than Monday’s when No. 2 seed Hazen swept the No. 7-seeded Miners in the second round of the Region 7 volleyball tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

“We played them last week, and we played them really tough,” Beulah head coach Brian Filibeck said, adding that the teams’ first meeting in September was not nearly as close. “We came out really tough today and were hoping we could scare them and take that first set.”

Hazen will play Heart River, the No. 3 seed, in the second match today, 25 minutes after the conclusion of Trinity and New England’s contest.

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The Miners and Bison were even at 15-15 in the first game before Hazen senior middle hitter Krista Slaubaugh went on a serving spree that sparked a 10-2 run to take a 1-0 match lead. Beulah seemingly never recovered, conceding the next two sets 25-11 and 25-12. In each match between them this year, the Bison (23-9-1) swept the Miners (7-14-1).

“Slaubaugh got on that run of serves at the end of the first set, and it kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Filibeck said. “We’d kind of get rolling and we would have a serving error and then a hitting error, and we just couldn’t get out of that funk.”

Slaubaugh tallied 17 kills, 14 digs and three service aces to help the Bison past the team that had been in the Region 7 championship each of the last four years.

“I have to give credit to Beulah,” Slaubaugh said. “They really improved throughout the season, and we had to work harder to get the win. We might have been a little nervous to start out the whole thing, but we got going and picked up more energy.”

Fellow seniors Steph Ziegler and Eva Byerley backed up Slaubaugh on offense, registering eight and six kills, respectively. The team featured a forceful attack that prompted head coach Linette Irwin to call for some changes.

“We were really aggressive. I told them late in the first set, ‘You know we haven’t tipped the ball yet?’” Irwin said. “We really have to make sure that we switch up our shots a little more and we’re not just swinging away. We have to make sure we’re a little more creative. That senior class just likes to play hard and play aggressive.”

Beulah was unable to record a block in the match, something Slaubaugh attributed to Hazen’s senior setter Kayla Lindquist, who had 30 assists.

“Our setter does a great job of getting the ball to different people,” Slaubaugh said. “We have a variety of hitters, and we just mix up our shots, so that keeps the blocking away. We move the blocks, and then we can get our hits over.”

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The Miners had 17 hitting errors and had an unsightly -.028 hitting percentage in their final match, but by and large, Filibeck, in his first season at Beulah, congratulated his team for the progress they showed over the course of the year.

“Our setter Kourtney (Hintz) and Abrielle (Shantz) were the only starters back from last year, but I think these girls, as the year went on, really grew,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, we would have 14 kills and 20 or 30 errors, so the improvement that we’ve shown on offense and defense has been tremendous. They fought and worked hard all year.”

Hazen 3, Beulah 0

B171112-0

H252525-0

KILLS: B, Hannah Baranick 7, Abrielle Schantz 3, Jade Schafer 2, Hunter Keller 2. H, Krista Slaubaugh 17, Steph Ziegler 8, Eva Byerley 6, Raquel Doll 2, Elise Hintz 2, Grace Zimmerman 1.

BLOCKS: B, none. H, Byerley 1, Ziegler 1.

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ACES: B, Phoebe Garman 1, Elizabeth Walsh 1, Schafer 1. H, Slaubaugh 3, Kayla Lindquist 2, Bethany Leier 1.

DIGS: B, Garman 23, Kourtney Hintz, 8, Walsh 8, Baranick 7, Emma Klindworth 6, Abrielle Shantz 4, Schafer 2. H, Leier 15, Ziegler 15, Slaubaugh 14, Lindquist 8, Doll 5, Courtney Rask 4, Byerley 4, Elise Hintz 3.

ASSISTS: B, Hintz 14. H, Lindquist 30, Doll 2, Leier 1.

Related Topics: HAZEN BISONBEULAH MINERSPREP SPORTS
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