The Hancock volleyball team has been busy recently with a number of tournaments and regular conference and section matchups. The team played in a total of six matches from Sept. 9 through Sept. 15. The Owls played in the Browerville/Eagle Valley tournament Saturday, Sept. 9 where they finished 1-3 in four matches. The Owls got back on the winning track when they hosted Clinton-Graceville Beardsley in Hancock Tuesday, Sept. 12 where they earned a 3-1 win. The Owls nearly made it two wins in a row when they traveled to Battle Lake Thursday, Sept. 14, but lost a nail-biter 3-2.
Browerville/Eagle Valley Tournament
The Owls did not have the best of luck in the Browerville/Eagle Valley, finishing 1-3 in four best of three matches.
In the first match, the Owls battled the hosts in Browerville/Eagle Valley and were swept in two sets. Hancock was not really in either set, with B/EV easily taking the match 25-15, 25-16.
In the second match, Hancock played Brandon-Evansville. The Owls narrowly dropped the first set 25-23, but Brandon-Evansville came out on a mission in the second set and demolished Hancock 25-8 to secure the sweep.
In the third match, Hancock was finally able to record a win. They took down New York Mills in two sets 25-17, 25-18.
The tournament was capped off with a final game against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley and the Wolverines got the best of the Owls with a 25-18, 25-23 sweep of Hancock.
Hancock finished the match with 56 total kills and three players in double figures. Brooke Ver Steeg led the team with 18 kills, Misti Zemple chipped in with 14 and Kaitlyn Rohloff finished the match with 10. Kaitlyn Staples was the starting setter and led the team with 27 set assists. At the service line, MACA finished with 21 aces. Misti Zemple led the squad with eight, Kaitlyn Rohloff had six aces, Eva Shaefer added three aces, Abbie Nuest chipped in with two and Staples and Ver Steeg both added one ace.
On defense, it was a team effort for MACA with five players in double figures for digs. Zimple led the team with 29 digs, Rohloff dug out 23, Mattson finished with 19, Eva Shaefer added 18 and Staples finished with 14. At the net, MACA finished with 12 blocks. Ver Steeg led the team with five blocks, Kaylynn Christianson added four, Zemple had two and Kaitlyn Rohloff added one.
The Owls picked up their second win of the season when they welcomed CGB to Hancock.
The match started well for the Owls in the first set and they cruised their way to a 25-18 win.
The Wolverines were not just going to hand the game over to Hancock and CGB came back to tie the match with a 25-14 victory in the second set.
Hancock came back with a comfortable 25-17 win in the third set. The Owls just needed one more set victory to secure the W, and they would have to fight for it. In a tightly contested fourth set, Hancock managed to sneak past the Wolverines 25-23 to secure their second match victory of the season.
On offense, the Owls finished the contest with 33 kills and three players had at least nine finishers. Zempel led the team with 15 kills, Rohloff smacked 12 and Ver Steeg added nine. Staples finished the contest with a team high 36 assists. They also added 12 aces from the service line with four from Rohloff, three from Zempel, two from Ver Steeg and one each from Staples, Rylie Mattson and Eva Schaefer.
On defense, MACA had four players with at least 11 digs. Zempel picked up a team high 18 digs, Mattson added 15, Rohloff dug out 13 and Schaefer finished with 11. At the net, Ver Steeg led the team with four blocks and Sempel, Schaefer and Christianson all had two blocks.
Battle Lake 3
The Owls lost a heartbreaker on the road against Battle Lake. They needed all five sets to decide the match, but Hancock came up just short, losing 3-2.
Hancock came out strong in the first set and came away with a 25-20 win, but Battle Lake came right back in the second set with a 25-22 win to tie the match at 1-1.
The Owls looked great in the third set, with a 25-19 win to go back in front. Once again, Battle Lake responded in the fourth set with a 25-20 win to force a fifth and deciding set.
Like most of the rest of the match, the final set was a closely contested one between Hancock and Battle Lake. The Owls fought all the way to the end, but it was not enough and Battle Lake secured the 3-2 win with a 15-13 victory in the fifth set.
The Owls leaned heavily on two players for their offense. Ver Steeg and Zempel led the team with 15 kills apiece and no other Owl had more than four. Kaitlyn Staples did the majority of the setting and led the Owls with 32 assists. Hancock was also pretty deadly from the service line, finishing with 13 total aces. Kaitlyn Rohloff led the team with six aces and Staples and Rylie Mattson each added two.
On defense, Zempel was all over the floor with a team high 28 digs. Mattson was not far behind with 25 digs and Eva Schaefer dug out 10. At the net, Hancock finished with six blocks, two from Ver Steeg and Kaylynn Christianson and one each from Rohloff and Staples.
The Owls also traveled to Hawley to participate in their second tournament in as many weekends. The next opponent for Hancock will be Dawson-Boyd in Dawson on Monday, Sept. 18.