'Like a locomotive'
NEW ENGLAND -- It took Hettinger one game to figure out New England. After the Black Devils got some momentum going in the second game, there wasn't much the Tigers could do to slow them down. "We're like a locomotive," Hettinger coach Jon Kohler...
NEW ENGLAND -- It took Hettinger one game to figure out New England.
After the Black Devils got some momentum going in the second game, there wasn't much the Tigers could do to slow them down.
"We're like a locomotive," Hettinger coach Jon Kohler said. "It takes us a little while to get rolling. Once we get rolling, we start playing really well."
Senior middle hitter Gwen Kristy had 11 kills, seven aces, seven digs and two blocks and led the Black Devils to a 15-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-10 District 13 volleyball victory Thursday at the New England High School gymnasium.
While they finished the game with a boom, the Black Devils (14-4, 3-1 District 13) didn't come out strong.
New England (10-10, 2-2 District 13) took control of the first game early, breaking open a 15-7 lead after an 8-2 run which saw nearly every Tiger player get into the act.
New England cruised from there as it got big performances out of seniors Carissa Rasch and Steph Herberholz, who finished with eight and seven kills, respectively.
"That was kind of a shellacking," Kohler said. "She (Tigers coach Jodi Ryder) always has her team ready to play."
However, Hettinger found its groove midway through Game 2.
The teams remained deadlocked through 11 points before Hettinger began pulling away.
Kristy had back-to-back aces toward the end of an 8-1 run that gave the Black Devils a 21-13 lead.
But, the Tigers didn't go away quietly.
After building a 24-17 lead, Hettinger failed to capitalize on game point and allowed New England to score six unanswered points -- three of which were attributed to Hettinger errors. The Tigers' comeback came to a halt when senior Jordyn Bender's shot directed at the back left corner sailed just out of bounds.
Bender finished with a match-high 17 kills and added 11 digs.
"I told them when we were in the huddle after Game 2, we got lucky with this one," Kohler said.
After tying the match at one game apiece, Hettinger took control.
Kristy said although the Tigers pushed them to the brink in the previous game, the Black Devils went into Game 3 with a positive attitude.
"All of us got together in the huddle and we're like, 'Guys, we can do this. Let's not let them walk all over us. Let's not give up.'" Kristy said.
The Black Devils capitalized on Tiger errors throughout Games 3 and 4 and took a big lead early in the match-clinching fourth game.
Kristy had four aces in an 8-0 run that gave the Black Devils a 12-2 lead and completely put New England on its heels.
Hettinger eventually built a 17-4 advantage and the Tigers couldn't close the gap.
Junior Sam Kristy, Gwen Kristy's younger sister, also had 11 kills and two blocks while Alix Pearson added eight kills for Hettinger.
"Coming into the (match) I figured it was going to be a tough matchup," Ryder said. "I figured we'd go five. But if we would have had Game 2, things would have been a lot different. But, we just dug ourselves in a hole and it was kind of hard to get out of it."
Hettinger 15 25 25 25 -- 3
NE 25 23 18 10 -- 1
Kills: H, Gwen Kristy 11, Sam Kristy 11, Alix Pearson 8. NE, Jordyn Bender 17, Carissa Rasch 8, Steph Herberholz 7.
Blocks: H, Gwen Kristy 2, Sam Kristy 2. NE, Byanna Rasch 3, Bender 1.
Aces: H, Gwen Kristy 7, Jade Yates 1, Beth Erickson 1. NE, Herberholz 2.
Digs: H, Erickson 9, Gwen Kristy 7, Tess Kilwein 5. NE, Herberholz 12, Jasmine Jung 11, Bender 11.
Assists: H, Kilwein 22, Yates 1. NE, Paige Fitterer 38.
Records: NE 10-10 (2-2 District 13), Hettinger 14-4 (3-1 District 13).