For the first time in program history, Hinton volleyball will play for a state championship after defeating third-ranked Grundy Center in straight sets in the state semifinals Wednesday.
Senior setter Ashlyn Kovarna says Hinton’s goal was to get past the state semifinal round. She says it is very rewarding to see that goal met.
Hinton’s serving game proved to be lethal as the Blackhawks swept past Grundy Center. Hinton served up 14 aces with four servers recording three-or-more aces in the match. Co-head coach Kate Ortegren says it was nice to see the girls be aggressive when serving.
Kovarna, who had three aces, says they work on their serving, and it was nice to put that on display on a big stage.
Hinton’s defense was tested with Grundy Center attacker Carlie Willis who averaged over six kills per set. The Blackhawks held her to 20 kills but only allowed her to hit .250. Coach Ortegren says the girls adapted well to any changes that had to be made on defense.
Sophomore hitter Bailey Boeve, who had three blocks and eight digs, says when they play defense like that it turns into easy offense.
Hinton is in its fourth state tournament in school history and now heads to their first ever state championship match. Coach Ortegren has a lot of time poured into this program, and she says it is wonderful to see the program reach this height with this team that worked hard to get here.
Boeve says this appearance is all because of the culture that the program has built over the last couple of years.
Hinton will square off with a giant in Dike-New Hartford. The Wolverines ended their season last year in the state semifinals and are 49-0 with just one set loss all season heading into the championship match. Boeve says defense will be key to take down the big, bad Wolverines.
Coach Ortegren wants the girls to play with confidence because they have played Dike-New Hartford before and have held their own against some comparably tough programs all year.
First serve between Hinton and Dike-New Hartford will be at 4:45 on Thursday afternoon. KLEM Radio will broadcast the match live with pregame coverage beginning at 4:30 PM.