RANDOLPH – Top-seeded and #10-ranked Randolph’s quest for a return trip to the state tournament remained alive after the Rockets soared to a three-set sweep over the #4-seeded Black Hawk Warriors, 25-14, 25-18, 25-11, in a WIAA Division 3 regional championship match held at RHS on Saturday, Oct. 21.
The Rockets improved to 26-9 on the season with the win, while the Lady Warriors finished the season with an 18-6-1 overall record. It is the third year in a row Black Hawk’s season has ended in the regional final round of the tournament.
“Our girls did not play their best match against Randolph. We have definitely played better, but every team has off nights. I think that nerves got to them a bit and, by the time they overcame their nervousness, we had dug ourselves a big hole,” said Black Hawk head coach Rachel Wolff. “Randolph was a solid team. They executed their offense well and were very quick. When we did attack, however, we tended to score against their defense.”
Senior setter Hannah Herbst distributed 10 assists in the match to lead the Warrior effort.
Freshman Bailey Butler registered eight kills and sophomore Hannah Butler added six kills, while senior Cheyenne Stewart tallied two blocks and an ace for Black Hawk.
Playing in their final prep volleyball match for the Warriors on Saturday were seniors Abby Argall, Brianna Hagen, Hannah Herbst, Cheyenne Stewart, Teearia Sweeney, Lauren Schultz and Hannah Ritschard.
“This group of seven seniors is a great bunch of leaders and have contributed to our success in different ways, but each will be missed next season,” commented Wolff.
The Warriors advanced to Saturday’s regional championship match by outlasting #5-seeded Barneveld, 3-2, in a thrilling regional semifinal clash at BHHS on Thursday, Oct. 19.
After defeating their Six Rivers East rivals twice by 3-1 decisions during the regular season, the Warriors knew they were in for a fight against the Golden Eagles a third time around and they were right.
Barneveld grabbed the lead with a 25-22 win in set one and again with a 25-23 decision in set three, but the Warriors rallied back with wins of 25-16 and 25-21 in games two and four to force a decisive fifth set.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match. Barneveld is a quality team, and it is hard to beat a team like that three times in a season. I really liked our composure. After losing the first set, the girls just adjusted and regained their focus. Confidence, consistency, eliminating unforced errors and better serving were the key to the match,” Wolff mentioned.
Sisters Hannah and Bailey Butler took over at the net in that fifth set, combining for 10 kills to lead the Warriors to a 15-8 win and a 3-2 victory.
B. Butler tallied six of her match-high 28 kills in the fifth set to lift the Warriors out to a 10-7 lead, and H. Butler recorded kills for four of the final five points– including the game-winner– to seal the win for Black Hawk in their final home match of the season.
H. Butler finished the night with 20 kills. Herbst handed out 34 assists, while junior Sydney Delzer registered seven blocks and two aces, and Sweeney scored 11 digs for the Warriors.
Black Hawk opened the tournament by powering past #13-seeded Faith Christian, 25-11, 25-6, 25-16, in a regional quarterfinal contest at BHHS on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
“I thought that the girls came out ready to play and had very few unforced errors,” said Wolff.
Herbst led the team with 13 assists, while B. Butler slammed down 11 kills and H. Butler added 10 kills for the hosts.
Junior Savanna Burmeister led the team at the service line with four aces, and Hagen and Delzer each tallied two blocks for the Warriors.
WIAA D4 REGIONAL FINAL
Black Hawk………. 0 0 0
Randolph…………. 25 25 25
BH Leaders– Kills: Bailey Butler 8, Hannah Butler 6. Blocks: Cheyenne Stewart 2. Assists: Hannah Herbst 10. Aces: Savanna Burmeister 1, Bailey Butler 1, Stewart 1.
At Randolph on Saturday, Oct. 21
WIAA D4 REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
Barneveld………. 25 16 25 21 8
Black Hawk…….. 22 25 23 25 15
BH Leaders– Kills: Bailey Butler 28, Hannah Butler 20. Blocks: Sydney Delzer 7. Assists: Hannah Herbst 34. Aces: Delzer 2. Digs: Teearia Sweeney 11.
At South Wayne on Thursday, Oct. 19
WIAA D4 REGIONAL QUARTERFINAL
Faith Christian… 11 6 16
Black Hawk……. 25 25 25
BH Leaders– Kills: Bailey Butler 11. Blocks: Brianna Hagen 2, Sydney Delzer 2. Assists: Hannah Herbst 13, Hannah Butler 9. Aces: Savanna Burmeister 4.
At South Wayne on Tuesday, Oct. 17