Wintermote now in a club of one

HAMPTON – It was vintage Ady Wintermote – a high set, a soaring leap on the left side of the floor and a slam cross court. She’d done it 999 times before, to be exact.

But the No. 1,000 is special for a volleyball hitter and it put the South Hamilton senior in an exclusive club in which she is the only member in the history of the program.

Wintermote bashed the 1,000th kill of her career early in the Hawks’ match against No. 1-ranked (Class 1A) Janesville in the medal round of the Hampton-Dumont Invite on Saturday. Everyone in the South Hamilton contingent was aware of the feat the moment it occurred, and those in attendance that didn’t quickly understood when her dad and head coach Rusty Wintermote whipped off his team shirt in favor of a white T-shirt that read “1000” that he was wearing underneath.

The tears quickly followed.

“At first I was really excited, but then it hit me,” Ady Wintermote said. “All of my family had the shirts on and that’s when I started to cry. (Getting to 1,000) means a lot to me just because of how much I love volleyball.”

Rusty Wintermote the coach was just happy to see the accomplishment reached so that the focus could return to the task at hand. Rusty Wintermote the dad wanted to see his daughter be able to bask in the moment forever.

“From a coach’s standpoint, I was worried that was what we were focused on and not the match,” he said. “From a dad’s point of view, for all of the hard work she’s put in … it was emotional.”

South Hamilton’s day at the rigorous tournament was a series of ups and downs that ended with a 2-2 record. The 14th-ranked (2A) Hawks knocked off Hampton-Dumont, 2-1 (19-21, 21-12, 15-13), and South Hardin, 2-0 (21-8, 21-12), but dropped decisions to eighth-ranked (4A) Charles City, 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 17-15), and Janesville, 2-0 (25-14, 25-16).

Janesville went on to win the tournament title.

South Hamilton (20-5) missed a golden opportunity to upset Charles City in the opening pool match. Locked at one set each, the Hawks built an 11-7 edge in the tiebreaker and later had a match point at 14-13, but were unable to finish the Comets off. Charles City scored four of the final five points to take the third set.

“That was one we could have won,” Rusty Wintermote said. “We passed well and scrapped well and got a lot of points just from hustling.”

A 2-2 day might not have been considered a success by some ranked programs, but Rusty Wintermote says he and his players walked away excited about upcoming matches.

“It was good to play those tough teams, especially with Gilbert coming up and then heading into regionals,” he said. “It was good for the girls to see those teams, especially a quicker offense like Charles City.

“I felt if we could come out of there with a .500 record and play competitively, I would feel good going into the last week of the (regular) season.”

After entering the day needing 37 kills to reach 1,000, Ady Wintermote finished the four-match series with 45. Alissa Moss added 10 kills and Lily Skartvedt chipped in eight.

Chloe Barkema (nine solo blocks), Wintermote (seven) and Alissa Moss (seven) were the defensive leaders at net. Libero Anna Moss contributed 26 digs, while setters Alissa Moss and Taylor Volkmann distributed 38 and 33 assists, respectively.

Behind the service line, Emilee Wiese came off the South Hamilton bench to deliver four aces. Anna Moss cranked out two, while Johnson (27-27) and Volkmann (21-21) combined to serve 48 times without an error.

South Hamilton will wrap up the regular season this week with a Senior Night match against Saydel on Tuesday in Jewell. The Hawks will make the short trip south to take on Gilbert Thursday evening.

Both matches are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.