Hawks go 2-2 at invitational
Last Saturday September 12, the Woodward-Granger Hawks took a near three hour trek to compete at this year’s North Scott Invitational. The lady Hawks had a decent showing as it played four different schools and finished with a .500 record.
Woodward-Granger began the day strong as it went 2-1 against host North Scott. The Hawks and Lancers split the first two games with Woodward taking the first one 21-11 and then giving it right back as they fell in game two 12-21. The decisive game three was close as the Hawks won by only four points.
Junior Bree Lesch, who personally felt she played well by adjusting to the bigger blockers, could see just how poised her team looked.
“I think we went into it pretty confident,” she said. “There were a lot of tough teams but I still think we are doing pretty good, so we figured we could keep up with them.”
The Team’s confidence may have wavered a little as it dropped the next two matches in straight sets to Quincy Senior High School and Clinton High School. The losses to both schools not only snapped the Hawks’ five game winning streak, but it was the first time this season that the team lost two in a row.
Sophomore Julie Pitman wasn’t surprised that the team might face tougher opponents than what it’s used to, which may have played a small role in its performance.
“I don’t think we were very confident. We had to keep our confidence up,” she said. “We need to not be nervous and not overthink things. Just go out and play our game.”
Hawks head coach Meg Jackson who’s been coaching for 19-years has seen this before and knows how it can affect a team mentally, which can hinder a team’s play.
“We lose a lot of confidence in losses like those,” she said. “When you are at a tournament sometimes that can plague you the entire day, which seemed to be the case on Saturday. “Fundamentally, we made lots of unforced errors that made other teams successful against us.”
The two losses didn’t seem to plague the Hawks too much as it bounced right back against Burlington High School. The team extinguished Burlington in straight sets winning the first game by five points. Game two was a a lot closer as the Hawks prevailed 22-20 in a nail-biter.
Overall the team did well and the record at the invitational keeps the Hawks in first place with a 12-5 record and 2-0 in conference play. Coach Jackson left the invitational satisfied, and understood the lesson taken from these tournaments.
“It gives us perspective and highlights some key things that we need to work on in practices,” she said. “Also, it tests our mental toughness and has forced us to adopt some strategies to help strengthen that part of our game.”
The Hawks will be traveling to Huxley, Ia. on Saturday September 19, to partake in the Ballard Invitational. The games begin at 9:00 a.m.