WILBER - A young bunch of Hampton Hawks survived several self-inflicted ragged patches, defeated Diller-Odell 3-1 Monday night in Wilber and assured their appearance in tonight's D2-2 Subdistrict final.
Scores were 25-22, 13-25, 25-15, 25-21.
"We played a really nice team," said Hampton coach Diane Torson. "We showed a lot of composure, especially after that second set. We're much younger than Diller-Odell."
Indeed they are. The Hawks have zero seniors and just two juniors on this year's roster.
The first set saw the Hawks trail 5-1 early before tying it 5-5 on an ace serve from Haley Schulze. A kill and an ace from Madison Van Housen put the Hawks up 9-7. Then came the first bumpy stretch of road after which it took a thundering kill by Schulze to get Hampton back to within three at 14-11 Griffins.
The Hawks needed a tape ace, the first of two aces in a row by Schulze, to draw even later at 19-all. The set wound up with a Van Housen ace for Hampon's 24th point. A tip by the Griffins that went wide ended it.
The less said about that second set the better.
In the third a 9-zip Hawk run on the serve of libero Brittany Dose was huge when it took Hampton out to a lead of 19-11. The stretch included a tip winner by Tristin Mason, tandem blocks by Jaime Troester and Schulze, then Mason and Schulze. Mason's kill was Hampton's last point in the run.
The set came down to 23-13 on a block by Van Housen, then a pair of kills by Van Housen, a 5-9 sophomore, brought the curtain down on set three.
The fourth was tied at 10-10 and 15-15 before the Hawks went up 17-15 on an ace by Cami Roehrs. The Hawks never again trailed and a tip by Van Housen at match point found the floor and punched Hampton's ticket to tonight's 7 p.m. final.
Van Housen and Schulze had 15 and eight kills to which Mason added seven. Mason had five ace serves with Van Housen and Schulze at four and three. Digs were 19 for the hustling Van Housen and 18 for Mason. Van Housen had five blocks in the match. Schulze and Troester were credited with two apiece.
"We played so well as a team," said Torson. "Everybody played well. Everybody helped each other. I was very happy."