LAKE CITY - South Hamilton won the volleyball matches it should have and contended against a pair of teams in the rankings at Saturday's South Central Calhoun Invitational.
The Hawks (6-8) split their six matches right down the middle and finished fourth in the six-team field. They picked up victories over Audubon (21-18, 23-21), Glidden-Ralston (21-9, 21-9) and Eagle Grove (21-14, 21-3).
South Hamilton dropped matches to No. 10-ranked (Class 2A) South Central Calhoun (21-19, 21-14), No. 15 (2A) Des Moines Christian (21-18, 21-9) and Manson-Northwest Webster (21-16, 21-18).
South Central Calhoun claimed its own tournament title. Des Moines Christian took second, Manson-Northwest Webster third.
Hawks' head coach Cindy Holmes felt her team played well and has all the tools physically to contend with the ranked opponents. Now her players just need to believe it.
"Most of what we're working on is taking place mentally right now," she said. "It's the idea of playing to win instead of playing not to lose and I felt like we made progress in that area.
"We definitely dominate some teams this year, whereas last year I don't think we ever took the floor feeling that way. So I do feel a growth in the confidence we have."
Freshman Ady Wintermote was again a force at net with 16 kills in the six matches, and she added a team-high 10 service aces. Tiffany Jacobson contributed 13 kills.
Setter Kenzie Busch doled out 34 assists to go along with five aces.
Libero Hannah Pulis was strong all day; she collected 49 digs and eight aces.
South Hamilton will be back at home on Tuesday to take on Gilbert at 6:30 p.m.