LINCOLN-A Monday volleyball matchup between Alcona (4-2) volleyball team and Hillman (11-3) was a consistently close match on both sides, but Hillman edged out Alcona in four sets, in a win that greatly pleased Hillman coach Amy Moir.
"I thought we played our best game that we've played all year. We played together as a team and we really improved (since earlier in the season). Julia Hunt had an excellent game for us tonight," Moir said.
Hillman won 25-19, 19-25, 25-18 and 25-14.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alcona’s Karina Cole digs deep in the second set of a home match up against Hillman. Hillman won in four sets.
For most of the first set, both teams seemed to struggle with serving and avoiding play errors. Play was back and forth, with few real consistent, long volleys.
"We just didn't play as consistently as we should have," Alcona coach Kristi Arnold said.
Play stayed within a point or two up to 15-15. Hillman started to pull ahead during the serves of Jensen Tchorzynski and Brice Kenyon. Kenyon picked up an ace during a three-point Hillman scoring streak, as the Tigers pulled ahead 19-16 and went on to win 25-19.
Tchorzynski had 14 kills and11 digs.
The second set saw Hillman pull into the lead off a four-point scoring streak. Tchorzynski picked up two aces as Hillman went up 7-4.
Alcona answered back with its own scoring streak at 8-5, picking up three points to to tie the set. Sierra Forsythe picked up one ace during this streak.
A three-point streak by Alcona with a 12-11 Hillman lead gave Alcona a two-point lead at 14-12. Karina Cole picked up two kills during this streak.
Cole had four aces, seven kills and six digs.
Cole later served during a four-point streak, picking up two aces to take Alcona to 21-17. It was just the lead Alcona needed to pick up its only win for the night, 25-19.
Hillman answered back in the third set with a quick 6-1 lead. Alissa Jones served during five of these points picking up an ace in the process. Jones also had five kills and nine digs.
"We really lacked focus behind the serving line and that hurt us in the first few sets. The girls just came out a little bit flat, defensively," Arnold said.
Hillman took a 13-4 lead, but Alcona answered back with five straight points to narrow the lead to 13-9. However, it wasn't enough for Alcona to catch up, in spite of a late four-point streak and Hillman picked up the win, 25-18.
The fourth set started out even, as both teams played with improved consistency. Cole was hitting more effectively while many of the service errors that plagued the first few sets vanished.
With a 9-8 lead, Kenyon served during five straight points, picking up two aces along the way. Alcona answered back with one of their own off a Cassie Carpenter tip to narrow the lead to 14-9.
Hillman took command of the set off a six-point scoring streak to go up 20-9. Hillman's Grace Buck blocked a few attacks while Riley Appelgren continued to set up attacks for her teammates.
Buck picked up five blocks while Appelgren had 18 assists.
Alcona tried to answer back, with Carpenter picking up a few aces, but the lead was too much and Alcona lost the set and match, 25-14.
"Our defense has been hurting us all season. We've been winning but it hasn't been pretty, but they came through defensively (tonight)," Moir said.
Alcona travels to Posen on Thursday, while Hillman plays Saturday in the Onaway Tournament.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.