Power of the Pink Game

HILLMAN-The Hillman volleyball team took a while to get going on Tuesday, but once it did there was little to slow the Tigers down.

The Tigers overcame a slow start and defeated North Star League rival Atlanta in three games, 25-21, 25-10 and 25-13 during a Pink Game to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness.

The Huskies capitalized on some early mistakes by Hillman to take the lead in the first set. Atlanta was also helped by the occasional ace and ball hit just out of reach of Hillman’s defenders.

Hillman led midway through the first set 10-7, but watched the Huskies comeback to pull ahead 12-10. Later, Hillman scored five straight points to take a 17-15 lead, but Atlanta stayed close and eventually knotted the set at 19. The Tigers took control from there and ended the set on a 6-2 run. They capped the set with an ace from Karena Tracey and a block from Grace Buck.

“The reason we came out slow is that I changed my rotation, I started my seniors and we just don’t respond well to different rotations. We just talked about having to play no matter who’s out there,” Hillman coach Amy Moir said.

Two aces from Alissa Jones and a kill from Eden Hunt helped the Tigers take a 5-1 lead to open the second set before Hillman went on an astounding 13-0 run later in the set. With Jensen Tchorzynski serving, Atlanta had no answer for Hillman’s serves or offense. Tchorzynski served three of her six aces during this stretch.

“We served well today. We were a little slow, but we came away with the win,” Moir said.

Though Atlanta got the ball back after a service error, Hillman kept the pedal down and finished the set by scoring the last three points.

Tchorzynski had 11 kills and five digs to go with her aces; Kalen Tchorzynski had four kills and four digs; Buck had four kills, Riley Appelgren had 22 assists and Jones had six aces.

The Huskies fared better in the final set and led early before Hillman’s offense took over and led a 7-1 stretch that put the Tigers ahead for good. Atlanta pulled to within two points, 10-8, before Hillman went on a 5-0 run that included four consecutive aces from Jones. After a late timeout, the Tigers ended the set and the match with a 9-2 stretch.

Tuesday’s match marked the final game for Hillman’s four seniors-Buck, Brice Kenyon, Cagney Smith and Jensen Tchorzynski-and Moir is proud of what each of them have brought to the team.

“She’s (Jensen) a four-year starter on varsity, so she’s been a strong leader on the team and the other three are two-year players on the varsity and they brought a lot of leadership,” Moir said.

Hillman plays at Au Gres on Thursday.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.