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Sullivan, Waldron open sectional with win

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

HOPE — The Mohawks just needed to warm up.

Following a first-set loss to South Decatur Tuesday in the opening contest of the Hauser Sectional, the Waldron volleyball team, with contributions from several players, eased past the Cougars the rest of the way to secure a 3-1 victory.

The Mohawks, who had five players register at least five kills, dropped the first set 22-25 but won the next three 25-14, 25-20, 25-12 to advance.

Senior Abby Adams led WHS with eight kills and 13 digs in a standout performance. Junior Paige Fewell was also productive, finishing with seven kills and one solo and one assisted block. Junior setter Maddi Tyree paced the offense with 27 assists and seven aces. She also added seven digs.

Freshman Nichole Garner and junior Katie Kuhn each tallied five kills in the win. In the back row, sophomore Lauryn Thomas and freshman Megan Bogemann were sound defensively.

With the win, the team advances to play Rising Sun Saturday at 11 a.m. 

Senior Hannah Sullivan, playing the sport in high school for the first time, also tallied five kills Tuesday and added eight digs. She said Adams has been a key factor in her quick development. Sullivan has improved each match and was sharp against South Decatur, as well.

“I kind of just came in and started playing,” Sullivan said. “My athleticism has really carried me. The team has been really supportive. They have all helped me. It worked out.

“We started out slow (Tuesday), but we were more positive as it went and were like, 'we can do this'. We just worked hard.”

A slow start, mixed with postseason nerves, was the case in set one against the Cougars.

“South Decatur came out more composed versus what we saw during the season,” said Waldron (9-15) head coach Whitney Moore said. “You hit the tournament and start at 0-0. We had definitely had a lot of people contribute, it just needs to click at the right time to work out. I think the communication was much better. Everything just came along. We made the right plays at the right time and were aggressive at the right time.”

The Mohawks fell to Rising Sun 1-3 during the regular season. Moore said the Mohawks finished within two points of the team in three of four sets.

“Some of them went extra points,” Moore said. “I think the girls want to redeem themselves. They know they cannot play sluggish (to start) like tonight. That is not going to cut it. (Rising Sun) has two big middle (hitters). We have to show up and play hard from the beginning.”

Oldenburg and Southwestern and Hauser and Jac-Cen-Del play Thursday to decide to the other semifinal on Saturday. The sectional final is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m.

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.