Hillman edges Fairview in five sets

HILLMAN-They say it ain’t over till its over, and the Hillman volleyball team learned that in a Thursday match against Fairview.

The Tigers looked to have the match completely under control with wins in the first two sets, but Fairview came together to win the next two sets and came within one point of winning the fifth and upsetting the Tigers.

“We found that it takes them several sets under their feet, to get warmed up and get going and they really figured out how to work together better and trust each other. We’ve been working on that all season and we’re there,” Fairview coach Stacy Ford said.

The first set saw Hillman (10-3) come out quickly against Fairview (1-5), taking a 15-2 lead. 14 of these points came during the serves of Alissa Jones, who picked up four aces during this streak.

Jensen Tchorzynski came up with 17 kills and 16 digs in the match for Hillman, while Kalen Tchorzynski had 12 digs.

Fairview’s struggled with passing and serving, giving Hillman some easy points. More consistent offense later in the set by Sarah Handrich and Katie Ford proved too-little-too-late, as Hillman took a 25-10 win.

The second set was more even, starting with a 4-4 tie, until a scoring streak during the serves of Andrea Ford gave the Eagles an 8-5 lead.

Hillman answered back for nine points during the serves of Brice Kenyon, who picked up four aces. Taylor Crawford picked up three of her five kills during this streak, to give Hillman a 15-8 lead. The Tigers scored 10 points to the Eagles nine to take the win.

The third set saw Hillman try out some new rotations.

“I tried out some different rotations, put girls in different positions and it just didn’t work for us. They have to understand that girls can get hurt at any time and they’re going to have to adapt to playing in different positions better,” Hillman coach Amy Moir said.

The Tigers initially came out with an 8-4 lead, but the Eagles answered back, in spite of solid passing by Riley Appelgren, who picked up 27 assists in the match.

Hillman was up by 17-12 during the third set, but more aggressive play by Eagles appeared to throw Hillman for a loop as the game pulled to a 23-23 tie.

Fairview was able to string together enough points for a 26-24 win, taking the match into the fourth set.

The fourth set saw Fairview pull into an 11-6 lead, off more team oriented play. At 11-6, Eden Hunt served, as the Tigers snagged the point off a Katie Ford out-of-bounds spike. However, Hillman had served out of rotation. This took away its point, gave it to Fairview and also gave the Eagles the serve and a 12-6 lead.

The Eagles then scored for five straight points to take a 17-6 lead. The Tigers regained a lot of lost ground late in the set, off the serves of Appelgren and the spikes of Tchorzynski, but Fairview held the Tigers off for the 25-17 win.

The Tigers streaked to an 8-2 lead, but a series of hitting and service errors by Hillman and a controlled attack by the Eagles saw Fairview score nine points to Hillman’s three, narrowing Hillman’s lead to 11-10.

The Eagles gradually pulled ahead late in the set, taking a 14-13 lead, putting it within one point of a three set come-from-behind win. However, hitting errors gave the point to Hillman, who quickly scored the next two points for the 16-14 win.

Hillman travels to Alcona on Tuesday while Fairview plays Atlanta on Thursday, in a “Pink Out” game, to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

Eric Benac can be reached via email at ebenac@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.