Hawk netters take tourney title in impressive fashion

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W-G senior Bree Lesch attacks the Norwalk defense at Thursday's ADM tournament.

ADEL — Class 2A No. 8 Woodward-Granger finished 5-0 to win the title of the ADM tournament Thursday, collecting victories over Class 4A No. 12 Norwalk and 4A No. 14 Nevada in the process.

The Hawks (9-3) were given a stiff test by Perry in their opening match, eventually slipping past the Jayettes, 2-0, with scores of 21-17 and 22-20. A 21-12 and 21-14 win over ADM followed, setting the stage for a real battle royal as they faced off with Norwalk. Many of the players on both squads play league volleyball together, adding good-natured intensity to what was a well-played match throughout.

Norwalk (13-2) won the first game, 21-18, but W-G countered with a 21-16 win in the second set. Outstanding defense, quick shifting on the floor and excellent passing from both teams had made each of the first two sets nail-biters, and the finale was no different.

The Warriors opened a 9-6 lead, with W-G coach Meg Jackson calling a timeout and telling her team in the huddle “You can win this game, you can win this game.”

W-G quickly rallied, erasing their deficit and then slowly pulling away for a 15-12, the emotional impact of which was clear on the faces, and in the reaction, of the Hawk players.

Nevada, ranked 14th, proved every bit as nettlesome, but W-G was, by that time, playing with extreme confidence and prevailed, 21-19 and 21-19. A pair of 21-9 wins over Knoxville was a mere formality in assuring the tourney title.

Olivia McCune had 39 total kills, Bree Lesch 27 and Mary Hansen 22 for the Hawks, with Julie Pitman adding eight kills, Ashley Gales and Alyssa Bice five kills apiece and Alissa Smeltzer one. McCune finished with six blocks and Pitman with five while Bice and Gales had four denials each and Hansen two.

W-G's Alyssa Bice serves as Bree Lesch (4), libero player Kara Bodensteiner, Mary Hansen (6), Ashley Gales and Olivia McCune (18) await the outcome against Norwalk during Thursday's ADM tourney.
W-G’s Alyssa Bice serves as Bree Lesch (4), libero player Kara Bodensteiner, Mary Hansen (6), Ashley Gales and Olivia McCune (18) await the outcome against Norwalk at the ADM tourney.

Bice tallied 48 total assists and Hansen 42, with Lesch providing 10 to lead the way. Lesch and Kara Bodensteiner paced the Hawks with 53 and 49 digs, respectively. Hansen had 32 digs, Bice 20 and Kaycee Major 19 to top the team list.

Lesch had eight aces on 40-of-44 serving, with Bice scoring six aces on 31-of-39 attempts. Hansen was 26-33-5 behind the line, Bodensteiner 33-37-4, Riley Kirton 25-31-1 and McCune 29-32-4.

W-G hosts Earlham Tuesday before making their annual trek to the North Scott Invitational in Eldridge Saturday.

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