Senior Night a breeze for Hawks

JEWELL – One by one, Rusty Wintermote took his three seniors off the floor, much to the enjoyment of the players themselves and the appreciative fans that stood and clapped Tuesday night.

First was Emilee Wiese. Next came Alissa Moss. And, finally, Ady Wintermote trotted to the sideline where teammates and coaches were waiting with smiles and hugs.

As Senior Nights go, this one was pretty much perfect.

Solid play and an inferior opponent made for a stress-free performance for the 14th-ranked (Class 2A) South Hamilton volleyball team, which dominated throughout and needed less than an hour to dispose of winless Saydel, 3-0, by scores of 25-13, 25-7, 25-1.

Yes, 25-1.

Hawks’ head coach Rusty Wintermote gave all of the power to his players, namely his senior trio, as the points clicked off at a frenzied pace, particularly in the second and third sets when South Hamilton rolled to leads of 12-0 and 20-0, respectively.

“We let them call the game and we let them have their moments of happiness,” Rusty Wintermote said. “I asked the three seniors ‘how do you want to go out? Do you want to stay for 25 points or do you want to go out to applause?’ It took them a few seconds, but they all said they wanted to go out to applause.”

South Hamilton (21-5, 5-2 HOIC) hit .422 as a team with 25 kills against a Saydel (0-32, 0-8 HOIC) squad that has won just one of 73 sets played this season. Ady Wintermote was her usual dominant self, as she blasted 17 kills in 22 chances and hit a season-high .773.

After becoming the school’s first-ever member of the 1,000 career kills club at Saturday’s Hampton-Dumont Invite, Ady Wintermote upped her season total to 358 – the second-most in 2A. She also ranks second in the class in kill efficiency (.425) among players with at least 100 kills, and her 5.2 kills per set average tops the 2A leaderboard.

Alissa Moss delivered seven assists, 3 1/2 blocks and two kills. Wiese, a back-row specialist, saw extended playing time and contributed five digs.

“All three of those seniors have been super kids to coach, and it’s been a blessing for me to coach Ady,” Rusty Wintermote said. “They’ve helped the program since they were freshmen and look where we’re at now.”

Breanne Diersen and Lily Skartvedt added two kills each. Taylor Ratzke joined Moss with 3 1/2 snuffs, while Diersen and Chloe Barkema had three each. Anna Moss registered a team-high seven digs.

South Hamilton simply overpowered Saydel from behind the service line in the final set that had the Hawk student section clamoring for a shutout. MaKayla Cavan laced all three of her aces during the 20-point run; Wiese and Anna Moss also had three aces each.

South Hamilton will quickly get back to business, as it will close out the regular season with a key conference showdown against ninth-ranked (3A) Gilbert (25-7, 5-2 HOIC) on the Tigers home floor tonight at 6:30 p.m. The winner will own third-place outright in the final standings behind league champion and ninth-ranked (4A) Nevada, as well as runner-up and 13th-ranked (3A) North Polk.

The Hawks will begin 2A Region 2 play with a first-round date against Eagle Grove (0-24) next Tuesday night in Jewell at 7 p.m.