Volleyball wins state championship


Photo by Aparnna Manoj

The Lady Hawks line up to recognize each player before the game. This was Hebron’s sixth time competing at the state tournament.

The Lady Hawks defeated Katy Seven Lakes in the state championship on Nov. 18 at the Curtis Culwell Center, 3-0. The win was their third straight state championship and fifth total.

“Three in a row is unbelievable,” head coach Karin Keeney said. “It is really, really hard and there was a lot of pressure on this team this year, but they handled it very well. Since we came up with two state titles, everybody [wanted] to beat Hebron and we were the bad guy everywhere we [went]. So it was amazing that my kids were able to handle it.”

The first set started off with a serve from Spartans outside hitter Danielle Batenhorst. Sophomore setter Nicole Drewnick won the first point of the game for Hebron. The Hawks won the first set with a score 25-16.

“Anytime you get a point for your team, you are just so pumped up and just jump up and your team is there just cheering you on and patting you on the back,” Drewnick said. “I was here freshman year on the court and we won and again, being here playing is just amazing.”

Senior libero Annie Benbow started off the second set with a serve. Junior middle hitter Emma Clothier scored the first point of the set. Finally, senior middle hitter Lauren Merrill won the last point of the set making Hebron win the second set, 25-14.

“I feel like it was really nice that we [went] out with a bang,” senior middle hitter Gabrielle Pliskal said. “Honestly, the biggest part for me was knowing that this was going to be my last game and knowing that regardless of whatever we did, we were going to end on a good note.”

Senior outside hitter Adanna Rollins contributed multiple spikes in the third set, and the Lady Hawks won the set with 25-15. Rollins was named Most Valuable Player from the match.

“When I hit the ball and it went down, I just felt so much,” Rollins said. “I felt so much power and I just felt like all the hard work that we had done these past few years and all of the blood, sweat and tears paid off.”

Although Lady Hawks started the season off slow with seven early losses, they were able to build up and win the last 24 matches. The Hawks volleyball team, alongside Amarillo’s, is now the second team in the 6A classification to have won three consecutive state championships in Texas history.

“It was hard at first,” Keeney said. “They started to crumble and it took us a couple of weeks to get back up and figure out who we were this year, and not worry about last year’s team or the year before. We were living in ghosts and we had to get rid of those ghosts, so we lost enough in the beginning of the year, so people would stop paying attention to us and that was when we started really building up this team and they did it beautifully.”