Hawks are aces against Bulldogs

Cesar J ToledoSports ReporterCtoledo@theperrychief.com
Hawks are aces against Bulldogs

A 25-minute drive is the only thing that separates Woodward-Granger High School from fellow conference foe Ogden. On Thursday, September 17, it only took the Hawks an hour more to sweep the Bulldogs in straight sets.

Hawks’ fans made that drive and nestled themselves throughout the Bulldog gym. They proudly wore their school colors and cheered their team to victory. Woodward-Granger junior Nate Devick, along with fellow juniors Kelsey Bodensteiner and Maggi Mallon were making sure the team felt their support.

“I’d be at every game and try to be the loudest fan I can be,” Devick said. “We are a young team and we have potential and it shows. We are fantastic right now and it shows.”

In this best of five series, the Hawks made sure to give its fans a reason to celebrate as its stellar play continued to look dominant throughout the contest. The Hawks won games one and three 25-14 and 25-16.

“I think we did great, we had great kills in there,” said Bodensteiner.

Bodensteiner, who loves the team, has an extra incentive for attending games. Her sister Kara Bodensteiner - also a junior - plays for the Hawks. Kelsey’s loudest cheers were for Kara who contributed to the wins with 22 digs and three aces.

“We don’t come in thinking we are going to win because we don’t let it get to our heads, but we just come to play,” Kelsey said.

The second game was a different story as the Bulldogs erased a seven-point deficit and came within two points at 18-16. The game continued to be close as enforced errors and mental mistakes by Woodward pushed the game to 23-22. Head coach Meg Jackson is all too familiar with this.

“We struggle with this a lot, which is we just score too many points for the other team,” she said. “We had hitting errors. I think my defenders are doing a good job, giving us opportunities. But we are not finishing, we need to connect better. We talked about more communications between our setters and our hitters.”

Hawks junior Olivia McCune’s play staved-off the Bulldog rally when Woodward was unable to stop the bleeding. Her 18 kills in the series were the highest on the team. The team seemed to regroup after that.

“We try to keep our heads up. We know if we get down we are going to lose so we all just try to stay excited,” she said.

In the end the Hawks dug deep and ousted the Bulldogs 25-22. The win kept the team undefeated in conference play and was a good carryover to the Ballard Invitational, which the team participated in last Saturday when it took on four schools in Huxley, Ia.

The Hawks finished Saturday with a 2-2 record. It lost to Pella and Johnston but rebounded against Ballard and Greene County. Overall the Hawks won five matches and lost five.

Up next the team traveled to Van Meter, Ia. on Tuesday to take on Bulldogs. It was yet another successful road trip as the Hawks defeated the Bulldogs in three straight sets. Game one was close as Woodward prevailed 25-21. The other two contests were not close, as Woodward’s game began firing on all cylinders. Woodward won game two by 11 points with a final score 25-14. Game three was the Hawks closed the series with an impressive 16 point win as they allowed the Bulldogs only nine points. The final score was 25-9.

Woodward will have a whole week-off until they face visiting Madrid High School on September 29.