HURON -- Colman-Egan shook off its nerves and that was bad news for Bridgewater-Emery.
The Huskies were defeated by the Hawks in four sets at the Class B state volleyball tournament on Thursday at the Huron Arena. After winning the first set, Bridgewater-Emery lost the next three sets against Colman-Egan. The set scores were 20-25, 25-17, 25-17 and 25-15.
“We were just ready,” Bridgewater-Emery coach Mary Ernster said. “We came out and we had a ton of energy. We were running our offense really well. We were hitting the ball down and I just think they weren’t ready for that.”
The Huskies, who made their state-tournament debut last season, jumped ahead 15-6 in the first set and withstood a mini-rally by Colman-Egan. The Huskies went ahead 24-16 and allowed the Hawks to score four straight points before putting them away.
“We came out right away with a bunch of energy,” Bridgewater-Emery senior setter/hitter Kerrigan Schultz said. “They haven’t been to a state tournament. We were here last year. We kind of knew what the feeling was, but that second set they really brought more energy and we struggled to hit. We struggled to make a pass and they are good hitters. They just hit down all the time.”
Colman-Egan, which was playing in its first-ever state tournament, continued its momentum from the first set and its hitters picked up steam. Olivia Baumberger (17 kills) and Mackenzie Hemmer (16 kills) powered the Hawks on the offensive end. Hailey Larson added nine of the team’s 52 kills.
“We really tried to focus on pushing the ball to the back,” said Schultz, who finished with 17 assists, 11 digs and six kills. “But obviously with their good hitters, it was hard doing that. We tried doing our best. We got a couple of touches on them I thought in the first set, which I think made them kind of fall apart, but then they brought it back in the second set.”
After Colman-Egan cruised in the next two sets, the Huskies and Hawks traded points in the decisive fourth set. The match was tied seven times and the lead switched hands three times, but the Hawks used a 4-0 surge to make it 17-13. The Huskies scored just two points the rest of the way.
In addition to giving up 52 kills, the Huskies were also doomed by a number of errors.
“They were costly,” Ernster said. “We always talk about two points. That’s what we want to give up per rotation. No more than that and then when those errors start, it just gets the ball rolling and pretty soon it’s four and five and against a good team, you just can’t do that.”
Julia Weber led the Huskies with 10 kills and 21 digs. Taylor Schallenkamp added seven kills and Sara Hofer posted nine digs.
The Hawks will play Northwestern at 5 p.m. Friday in the championship semifinals.
Bridgewater-Emery will play Corsica-Stickney at noon Friday in the consolation semifinals. The Huskies swept the Jaguars on Aug. 27.