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Balanced Islanders sweep past Hastings
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Balanced Islanders sweep past Hastings

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The Grand Island Senior High volleyball team used a balance attack to get its second win of the season.

The Islanders had 40 kills during their 25-10, 25-21, 25-11 win over Hastings Tuesday night at Senior High.

Haedyn Hoos led the Grand Island attack with 13 kills, while freshman Tia Traudt chipped in 11. Three more added five kills or more.

GISH coach Marcus Ehrke said the credit goes to setter Claire Kelly, who had 31 assists for the Islanders.

“I thought Claire did a great job of mixing it up tonight. She’s setting the ball at a better tempo for us,” he said. “That gives our outsides a chance to swing and moves our middles around. She distributes the ball pretty accurately with them. She’s getting everybody involved which is always key, just to keep the other team’s block and defense guessing.”

Hastings coach Allison Soucie said that balance was tough to stop but she felt the Tigers were their own worst enemy at times. They were haunted with 19 errors and gave up 12 ace serves.

“Claire’s a good setter with great hitters,” Soucie said. “Our goal was to stop the outsides and serve tough and we didn’t accomplish that tonight, plus we didn’t pass well either. We usually don’t have an issue with that but it fell apart on us.

“We just beat ourselves tonight. We didn’t play like the way we did this past weekend (getting second at the Lexington Invite) or during our match with York. We battled so hard during those matches and we didn’t do that tonight.”

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After Grand Island cruised in the opening set while committing only two errors, the second set was a little more competitive.

Hastings scored the first three points. The Islanders rallied and eventually took a 12-9 lead. But Hastings rattled off a 4-0 run with Katelyn Shaw connecting on two of her team-high five kills to make it 13-12.

But Hoos hammered down a kill, then served a 5-0 run to give the Islanders an 18-13 lead. They slowly pulled away with Hoos, Traudt, Kaiden Dahmer and Rylie Huff all hammering down kills during the later stages to give Grand Island a 2-0 lead.

The Islanders controlled the third set as Jaylen Taylor and Hoos combined to serve a 9-1 run with five aces to start the stanza.

Ehrke said he was pleased with the serving as Hoos led Grand Island with four ace serves, while Kelly added three.

“I feel that is one of our strengths and we’re to try to improve on that, try to serve the seams better and making sure we are serving to the right people and serve tougher,” he said.

Lauryn Taylor led the Islander defense with 14 digs, while Hansen and Traudt each added 10.

The victory gives Grand Island a two-match winning streak after it grabbed their first win of the season last Thursday against Columbus in its home triangular. It’s the first time since that the Islanders has won two consecutive matches since the 2018 season.

“That feels good and I’m sure the girls will say the same thing,” Ehrke said. “It’s been tough but I think we are seeing the trajectory that we are heading up towards. Just the fact that we are starting to see some wins is going to raise our confidence and our skills are coming along.”

The Islanders will play in the Kearney Invite on Saturday. The Islanders will play Kearney, North Platte, Gretna and Northwest during the tournament.

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