Hume derailed by in-county rival Rich Hill
Nevada Daily Mail
Fresh off their conference championship win over the weekend, the Hume Lady Hornets volleyball team was set back by the Rich Hill Tigers 25-12, 25-19, Wednesday night in Hume.
"We knew it was going to be a fight," Hume coach Delanya Thompson said. "It wasn't anything we were just going to walk away with. It was going to be a battle, we just made too many errors serving and passing."
Hume (14-3, 5-0) next travels to Appleton City on Monday, as they face Lakeland at 4:30 p.m. in the Class 1 District 12 volleyball tournament.
On Senior Night, the Lady Hornets were unable to contain Tigers 6-foot-1 middle blocker, Bailey King, who had a monster performance. King was all over the place, throwing down kills and making numerous blocks at the net.
"It's a struggle when we don't have anybody over 5-6," Thompson said. "You can't teach height."
In the first set, with Alexis Ephland serving to open the match, Rich Hill jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead.
Trailing 7-3, Lady Hornets senior Kelsie Wikoff came through with back-to-back aces, to slice the lead to 7-5.
After increasing their lead to 17-10, King spiked home a kill. Shortly thereafter, King went up high at the net, blocking Wikoff's kill attempt, putting the Tigers on top 20-10. Rich Hill took five of the final seven points to finish out the set.
In the second set, Hume again dug an early hole, falling behind 4-0, with Ephland serving to open the set.
Hume responded this time around, bouncing back with four straight points to tie the match.
With the Hornets looking to take their first lead of the match, King came up with another block at the net, to give the Tigers a 5-4 advantage. Rich Hill then reeled off four consecutive points to take a 9-4 lead. Later, senior Madison Wheatley's ace put the Tigers in control, 11-5.
An ace by Hayley Klinksick widened the lead to 14-8. Hume junior Brhett Mumma sparked a Hornets rally, when she powered home a kill. That was followed by consecutive kills from Megan Sutcliffe.
Later, a kill by senior Madison Cannon knotted the match at 14-14. The Lady Hornets would go on to take two of the next three points, to go up 16-15, for their first lead of the evening.
"We were getting our serves in and over," Thompson said. "We had confidence and were hitting the ball better.
"But in the end, I'm proud of the way they played in the second set."
With Sutcliffe serving, Hume held an 18-17 lead. This would be the Lady Hornets last lead of the night, as Rich Hill ripped off eight of the next nine points. Wheatley closed out the set serving.
Aside from Hume's inability to slow King, their primary problem was keeping the ball in play, as a large number of serves and attempted kills sailed out of bounds.
"I think it was just nerves," Thompson said. "And the position of the ball. They were letting the ball get behind their heads, instead of keeping it in front of them."
Senior Night festivities
After the match, Hume honored their five seniors with carnations. The seniors are: Madison Cannon, Kelsey Wikoff, Hope Yarick, Emily Ward, and Sam Reno.
Thompson said the seniors have come a long way since first setting foot on the court as freshmen.
Thompson added that she coached each of the seniors for all four years, except Emily Ward, who was a transfer from Rich Hill. Thompson said that Ward had to sit out her junior year, due to transfer rules.
"Rich Hill has junior high volleyball, we don't," Thompson said. "So we are starting from scratch as freshmen, to where they (Rich Hill) have already played for two years. It makes a big difference when you don't get those two extra years.
"They've improved tremendously from when they first started and couldn't even pass the ball, or couldn't get the ball over the net."
Thompson said she scheduled Rich Hill because the competition level is higher than what Hume normally faces in the Golden Valley Vernon County Conference. In addition, she said this will help her team familiarize themselves with the Tigers, who they could potentially face in the district tournament next week.
"The (conference) competition hasn't been really hard," she said. "We're used to getting here and just kind of going through teams more easily. Today was just had a battle."
The Hume junior varsity team was toppled 25-7, 25-14.