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Hawks thrive at home, sweep Tigers and Royals

Duns and Remsburg the catalysts in front

The Daily Freeman-Journal

JEWELL — Coming home was exactly what the South Hamilton volleyball team needed.

After starting the season with five matches on the road, the Hawks were back in familiar surroundings last night and played it up to the home crowd in 2-0 victories over Madrid and Colo-NESCO.

South Hamilton (3-4) took care of Madrid, 25-20 and 25-14, and then disposed of Colo-NESCO, 25-23 and 25-16.

“It was great to start out our home stretch with two wins,” South Hamilton head coach Kayla Schaufenbuel said. “This should help (the girls) with their confidence and they played pretty well for the most part.”

Zoey Duns and Taylor Remsburg controlled things in the front row for the Hawks. Duns was the catalyst from the perimeter, while Remsburg did her job in the middle.

“Zoey Duns played very well against Colo, and Taylor Remsburg had a really good night against both teams,” Schaufenbuel said. “She was really strong in the middle for us.”

A 5-0 run midway through the opening set against Madrid sent South Hamilton toward the upper-hand. Jenna Woodall smacked back-to-back aces to put the Hawks in front for good, as they ripped five aces down the stretch to pull away.

An 11-2 run in the second set keyed South Hamilton’s sweep. A Caleigh Hewitt smash from the middle gave the Hawks match point, and Madrid smacked the ball into the net on the next point to give South Hamilton the victory.

Following a break, the Hawks struggled throughout the opening set against the Royals. They had 16 errors — nine on attacks and seven on serves — in the first stanza, but repeatedly fended off Colo-NESCO runs.

Down by as many as six points, the Royals rallied to knot the set at 21. Emma Lewis slapped a kill from the right side to put South Hamilton in front to stay and it did just enough down the stretch to take the 1-0 edge.

“I think they just got a sense of urgency that we needed to keep doing the little things,” Schaufenbuel said. “We’ve struggled in the past with giving up five points in a row and I think they realized they can’t do that and expect to win a game.”

Remsburg opened the second set with a blast from the middle and Mackenzie Grady followed with a kill from the left side. South Hamilton never trailed in the game and pulled away with a 7-0 spurt on Kaylee Oskvig’s serve midway through.

Duns’ final kill of the night — a laser from the outside — gave South Hamilton match point and Colo-NESCO hit its next attack wide to cap the contest.

South Hamilton will attempt to take the momentum into its first tournament of the season on Saturday in Clarion.

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