(Sentinel Photo by Allen Hamil) Hinton’s Carly Hicklin sends an attack around the block from Hannah Taylor of Storm Lake in Thursday’s game. Hicklin finished with eight kills on a .240 hitting efficiency in the game.
HINTON — Class 2A No. 11 Hinton opened the volleyball season with a three-set sweep over Storm Lake in a non-conference game Thursday.
“I think the best thing we did on the court was talk,” Hinton co-coach Robin Mohr said. “We communicated well and we didn’t drop the ball in the field.”
Hinton scored the first three points of the game before giving up the next three to the Tornadoes. After scoring the next five points, the Blackhawks maintained a sizable advantage throughout the rest of the set.
The 5-0 run included a kill for Gabbie Friessen, one of his nine in the contest, followed by a net block for Bailey Boeve, one of his team-leading five solo blocks. Friessen dropped an ace for the next point before Boeve overturned one of his team-leading 10 eliminations to keep the run going. A Tornadoes error capped the race.
The team continued to pull away in the set for a 25-9 win that included three of the team’s seven ace serves in the match.
Hinton led from start to finish in the second set as they scored the first four points en route to a 25-11 win.
Storm Lake scored the first two points of the third set and kept it the most competitive set of the three. Hinton was forced to call their only timeout of the night as the Tornadoes made a short push to close within five at 21-16.
Mohr said the team just needed to refocus to finish the game.
“We can’t let teams make four or five points for points,” Mohr said. “We had a bit of funk there for a little while but we had a great diving game, dug the ball in, got up and killed and that got us going again.”
Hinton scored the final four points after timeout to claim the 25-16 victory. Carly Hicklin had a kill for the 22nd point on the frame, part of her eight kills with .240 efficiency for the game. Boeve got the next two wins finishing with a .360 efficiency for the night. Those kills pushed her to lead the team on a fairly even attacking night with Boeve’s 10 kills, Friessen’s nine and Hicklin’s eight. Natalee Junck, Ashlyn Kovarna and Avery Burgad added three kills each.
“Ashlyn does a good job of mixing and moving the ball,” Mohr said. “I thought offensively, we looked good as a team. Everyone has swings. Everyone looked pretty solid with their swings. I think from a team point of view we were pretty balanced.
Hinton capped off the win with a block for Boeve. In addition to the blocks at net, of which Hinton finished with 14, Mohr was also happy with the defense in the back row. Libero Aubree Lake led the team with 11 digs while also securing two service aces.
“Defense leads to offense and that’s what they learn,” Mohr said. “We have to play great defense night after night.”
Friessen and Kovarna added nine digs apiece, with Kovarna also getting the bulk of the assists with 25 in the game.
Hinton has won games against Storm Lake in each of the past four seasons. While the team has had a strong start to the season, Mohr said there is still a lot of progress ahead of this group.
“Yes, we made mistakes here and there, missed serves at the start of the first set. We cleaned them up a bit. A few transitions we didn’t make and a few missed swings, but it was a good start for us,” Mohr said. “Were excited. The girls are playing well together. We’re looking forward to one game at a time and seeing what it brings.
Hinton will open War Eagle Conference play on Tuesday at home against South O’Brien.