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Lady Honkers hammer Falcons
The Honkers began their quest for a second-straight section championship on Tuesday evening, when Willows High hosted Central Valley in the first round of the Division IV playoffs.
After falling in the first game, the Honkers came back and showed their true feathers in a crushing 20-25, 25-7, 25-18, 25-13 victory over the visiting Falcons.
After allowing the visitors to take the early lead, Willows could not catch up to the offensive effort and grit of Central Valley, and the Falcons grabbed the first game.
Put back on their heels, the Honkers responded in Game 2, as Megan Hughes aced the Falcons four times, with Sam Brott adding in two kills from the outside to change the momentum and put them up 14-7.
Two aces from Brott and a kill from Erika Click extended their advantage, and Brott continued to be the Honkers' workhorse, adding two more aces late in the second game. A high-flying Mary Feeney peppered in a kill, and Willows had drawn even in dominant fashion.
With determination on their faces, the Honkers continued to impress in the third game, with Hughes adding to her already solid service night with another ace and Feeney coming out with two more kills.
Hughes added pressure on Central Valley when she hammered down a kill from the middle that left the crowd cheering, and the Honkers led at 20-15.
Two Honker errors helped the Falcons draw closer, but Willows persisted thanks to Click, who put up a stonewall-like block, and Feeney who notched a kill for game point.
While the visitors regrouped and tried to fly straight, it was smooth sailing for the Honkers, in Game 4. A few hitting errors from the Falcons did not aid their plight, but Willows continued to showcase their form with Brott hitting a screamer for a kill and Hughes acing Central Valley yet again.
Along with showcasing their abilities, the entire team came together for Willows in the fourth game of the matchup, as Brott, Click, Feeney, Hughes and Ally Brunner all hit warp-speed kills onto the waiting Falcons, to put away the final game in true team style.
Junior Ally Brunner commented on her team's play and hard work throughout the season, saying, "Our nerves came out in the first game, but all of us did really well. We're looking forward to playing against Wheatland, too. We were section champs last year and at the beginning of the season we knew we wanted it again this year. Once we play to our full abilities we're a great team."
Willows coach Carol Martin commented, "We need focus on the team, continue to pass and play together - just have some fun. Fun loosens the nerves and when we have fun we can play our game and get it done."
The Honkers play at third-seeded Wheatland on Tuesday. The Pirates went 5-3 in the Butte View League and are 22-7 overall.
CONTACT Emily Saint-Evens at 824-7990 or firstname.lastname@example.org