HAMPTON - The South Hamilton volleyball team didn't get any scheduling favors during its ninth-place finish at Saturday's Hampton-Dumont Invitational.
The Hawks dropped matches to second-ranked (Class 1A) Janesville (21-10, 21-8) and top-ranked (3A) Carroll Kuemper (21-19, 21-18) early in the day, and then split matches with Nashua-Plainfield to close out the tournament.
Nashua-Plainfield won the opening bout (18-21, 21-18, 18-16) before South Hamilton answered (17-21, 21-17, 16-14) in the ninth-place match.
"As crazy as it might sound, it was the most encouraged that I and the team have been this season," South Hamilton head coach Cindy Holmes said. "We went into it with the attitude of becoming prepared for regionals and the girls really bought into it."
The narrow loss to Kuemper stood out to Holmes.
"Honestly, we played really well and could have won that match," she said.
Ady Wintermote blistered 50 kills on the day to lead the team. Alyssa Hegland smacked 15 and Tiffany Jacobson finished with 13.
Setters Kenzie Busch and Molly Minich distributed 34 and 24 assists, respectively.
Defensively, Hannah Pulis came up with 55 digs and Wintermote collected 50. At net Jacobson and Savana Stangeland both had 16 blocks; Avery Klemp piled up 11.
Janesville eventually won the tournament in three sets over fifth-ranked (4A) Charles City.
South Hamilton will be in Jefferson to take on Greene County on Thursday.