Garaway fends off an improving Lady Hawks team in three

Amber Monigold’s (16) kill is sent back by Hiland’s Madison Yoder (1) and Brooke Stutzman (8).

The Hiland Lady Hawks volleyball team enjoyed an impressive run recently when it reeled off three straight Inter-Valley Conference wins.

The Lady Hawks needed that momentum, because after that win streak the next two teams on the schedule presented a little stiffer competition that would include two juggernauts in the IVC, the Central Catholic Saints and the Garaway Lady Pirates.

Hiland lost in three games to TCC on Sept. 21 and then on Sept. 23 had to turn right back around and head to Sugarcreek for a rivalry battle with Garaway.

Unfortunately for the Lady Hawks, it was the same result.

Behind some all-around great play by Jenna Walter and Allison Luneborg (video), the Lady Pirates handled the Lady Hawks in three games 25-17, 25-21 and 25-14.

Luneborg did a little bit of everything in the game, ripping four aces, smashing 13 kills and digging 11 balls. Meanwhile, Walter was all over the court as well, blocking three balls, chipping in with nine kills and digging 15 balls.

For the Lady Hawks sophomore Madisynn Bryk led the way in the kills department with six and she also had three blocks and two aces. Freshman Kim Miller added five kills and also doled out nine assists. Sophomore Katelyn Hershberger also had nine helpers.

First-year Lady Hawks coach Adri Bryk said that coming off the big week that saw Hiland beat Malvern, Sandy Valley and Newcomerstown, she hoped her team was prepared for the tougher matches with TCC and Garaway. However, the mental side of things may have gotten in the way.

“We’re still battling some of our mental game,” said Bryk. “We are better than we played tonight. It’s tough for us coaches to watch because we know they work so hard and then mentally we didn’t stay in the game tonight.”

That started right from the get-go in game one, when the Lady Hawks had five service errors that didn’t allow them to come out of the gate strong.

The poor service put the Lady Hawks in a 6-3 hole early on in game one, but they weren’t going anywhere. Jasmine Hershey got a kill for the Lady Hawks that closed the Garaway lead to 13-12.

Then with Garaway leading 18-15 in game one, the Lady Pirates would extend the lead to 23-17 with a Samantha Putt block and two Luneborg smashes. Garaway would then easily put away the Lady Hawks in game one after that little run opened up the lead.

“When you have a missed serve, and 12 of them tonight to be exact, that effects everything else you do,” said Adri Bryk.

The errors didn’t hurt the Lady Hawks to start the second game. Madisynn Bryk came out firing peas from the service line and racked up a pair of aces and also had three kills in the game’s first 10 points, putting her team up 10-4.

That’s when the Lady Pirates woke up and starting fighting back. Trailing 14-12, Garaway got two more kills from Luneborg, one from Putt and another from Walter and the Lady Pirates came back to tie it at 16-16.

Garaway would then push ahead 21-19, and, like in game one, cruised through the final points for the win. (video)

“Our first game was pretty strong for us,” said Garaway coach Sara Roach. “The second game wasn’t as good, but our girls are fighters and that’s the reason for the comeback in game two.”

“We have this thing where we get ourselves behind several points, but our girls almost enjoy fighting back,” Roach continued. “Most of the time we get the win out of it, sometimes we don’t.”

In game three the Lady Pirates wouldn’t need to fight back as they took an early 7-2 and then pushed ahead 11-4 on a massive Walter block.

Roach was happy to see her team push ahead in game three rather than falling behind and needing to rally for a win.

“Before game three I told our girls to fight to keep the lead this time, don’t fight to get it back,” Roach said.

The Lady Pirates listened to their coach and took care of business in game three. Alicia Miller helped with two kills for the Lady Pirates that pushed the lead to a comfortable 17-7 count, and then Garaway went on for a more convincing 25-14 win in game three. (video)

Hiland drops to 4-8 on the season and 3-5 in the IVC. The Lady Pirates bump up their record to 9-5 and 7-1 in conference play.

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