ANSLEY — After receiving hugs and handshakes from her players, Ansley/Litchfield coach Pat Hoblyn smiled and waved to a standing ovation.
Hey, it’s not everyday you win your 600th game.
With a 25-8, 25-15 victory over Loomis at their home triangular on parents’ night, the Spartan players and fans got to help congratulate Hoblyn on the rare milestone. Hoots and hollers from the crowd turned into a “600” chant at the conclusion of the match.
“It means a lot,” Hoblyn said. “It’s kind of a journey, one that all of the community has been involved in.”
Hoblyn, a breast cancer survivor, started winning volleyball games at Ansley in 1973. She has five state championships under her belt, leading the Warriors to all 14 of their state tournament appearances.
In the inaugural year of Ansley/Litchfield volleyball, Hoblyn has the Spartans ranked No. 5 in Class D1 with a 25-1 record.
The spotlight was on Hoblyn Friday night, but the coach insisted that those involved with her volleyball program over the years get equal credit.
“It’s a nice thing not just for me, but for all of the girls who have participated too,” she said.
Hoblyn, who has wanted to coach ever since she can remember, said it’s her past and present players who have driven her to keep a clipboard in her hand.
“It’s the connection with the girls. Not just in high school, but when they come back. That part, that is a lot of fun,” she said.
Even in her 39th season, Hoblyn still gets anxious before matches.
“I don’t know about the girls, but I was nervous,” Hoblyn said going into Friday night’s game. “I knew (Loomis) had a new coach, and they were far enough away that I never got a chance to see them play. So that factor of unknown, you’re always a little nervous.”
Hoblyn’s players were able to put the coach’s mind at ease early on, jumping out to an 18-3 lead in the first set en route to the match victory.
Taylor Pickar tallied eight kills and five ace serves in the win over Loomis. Lindsy Siegel added six kills. Hanna Lane compiled 14 assists and three ace serves.
Loomis’ Brooke Thorell finished with three kills. April Collin tallied three assists, one kill and an ace block.
The Wolves were slow out of the gate in Set 1, but brought more energy in the second set. Loomis held an early lead in Set 2, but was unable to overcome unforced errors in the loss.
“I need them to relax and have fun,” Loomis coach Logan Farley said. “Our starting lineup changes every time so these girls know they have to work hard, but I want them to enjoy playing volleyball because I enjoy watching them.”
Ansley/Litchfield 2, Loomis 0
LOOMIS (6-16) 8 15
A/L (25-1) 25 25
KILLS — AL: Taylor Pickar 8, Lindsy Siegel 6, Kaitlin Kratzer 4, Shawna Paitz 3, LaKoya Scott 1, Kate Sweley 1. LHS: Brooke Thorell 3, Tori Maaske 2, Riley Hahn 2, April Collin 1, Kayleigh Norwood 1, Paige Thorell 1.
ASSISTS — AL: Hanna Lane 14, Kaitlin Kratzer 3, Taylor Pickar 2, Esther Lewis 1, Tristen Reed 1, Alivia Wardyn 1. LHS: April Collin 3, Courtney Palmer 3, Elise Stauffer 1, Tori Maaske 1.
ACE SERVES — AL: Taylor Pickar 5, Hanna Lane 3, Shawna Paitz 1, Lindsy Siegel 1, Tristen Reed 1, Falicia Shepardson 1. LHS: Courtney Palmer 1.
ACE BLOCKS — AL: Shawna Paitz 1. LHS: April Collin 1.