HUTCHINSON — The Hesston High School volleyball team needed three sets before it could get its attack untracked, leading to a fourth-place finish at the Class 3A state tournament Saturday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
In the semifinals, Hesston fell to eventual state champion Silver Lake 25-15, 25-17. In the third-place match, Hesston lost to Beloit 25-15, 25-20.
“We weren’t aggressive enough,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “And they had some pretty good hitters. We had to be able to swing more and it seemed like we were too tentative. We had a stretch (against Beloit) where we had some confidence, but we couldn’t quite maintain that. We had a lot of errors from not being aggressive enough.”
Hesston ends the season 32-10.
“We had a great season,” Peters said. “We lost a lot of seniors last year, but the girls adjusted to new roles. We came together as a team the last couple of weeks of the season. They put themselves in a position to get here. They were picking each other up and supporting each other.”
Hesston led by three early in the first set against Silver Lake. Leading 12-9, Hesston gave up a 5-0 run. The Swathers took a time out trailing 16-13, but the Eagles added four more points to the run, all on Swather hitting errors.
Hesston managed just two more points in the set.
Leading 10-8 in the second set, Hesston gave up a 6-0 run. Hesston never challenged from that point.
Lexi Cobb, Abby Pressgrove, Ellington Hogle and Daryn Lamprecht each had five kills. Hogle downed a block. Cobb served three aces, followed by Taylor Burkhardt with two.
For Hesston, Talby Duerksen had six kills.
Against Beloit, Hesston fell behind 6-1 and made a 4-0 run. The Swathers fell behind 16-10 to prompt a time out. The Swathers managed just five more points in the set. Hesston had 10 hitting errors in the set to three for Beloit.
Down 7-4 in the second set, Hesston made an 8-2 run. Beloit came back with a run of its own to regain the lead and hold on for the match.
Shea Larson led Beloit with 11 kills and a downed block. Sydney Barrett had five kills and two downed blocks. Trinity Wagner had three kills and a downed block. Larson and Jessica Meier each served two aces.
For Hesston, Rylie Schilling had seven kills. Duerksen had six kills. Alex Martin and Celbi Richardson each had three kills.
Emily Koehn served two aces.
Hesston loses six seniors.
“Several of them have been part of our state trips for the last four years,” Peters said. “They all had important roles on the court. We will have to figure out a way fill those roles. We had good senior leadership. We had four or five players that were injured at some time. We were able to fight through this. They found a way to make it work and stepped out.
“The (underclassmen) will have to work hard. The positions we lose now, the kids are going to have to fill in those roles. We had a very good JV team and some good freshman players. Those guys will have a lot of experience coming in.”
Class 3A State
At Hutchinson Sports Arena
Silver Lake def. Hesston 25-15, 25-17
Burlington def. Beloit 25-23, 25-22
Beloit def. Hesston 25-15, 25-20
Silver Lake def. Burlington 25-19, 25-20