10/18/2018 1:25:00 PM Byron vb team wins home invite championship
The Bears won five matches to win their annual eight team Byron Invitational on Oct. 13. In pool play, the Bears were able to win all of their matches in two sets. Byron first played Lyle-Pacelli 25-7 and 25-19. Next, it was Chisago Lakes and Byron won 25-13 and 25-19. Finally, Byron defeated Triton 25-14 and 25-16. This put Byron in the Gold Division semifinals where they faced Pine Island (who they just beat Thursday night in a 5 set thriller). Byron took the first set 25-17, then PI took the second set 24-26, and the Bears prevailed again to take the 3rd deciding set 15-10.
This advanced Byron to the Gold Division championship. They were hoping to match up against Alden-Conger (who only has a few losses on the season), but Triton upset A-C in the semi-finals, so Byron had to face Triton again. The finals proved to be closer than the match in pool play, but the Bears still took the match in 2 sets 26-24 and 25-17.
Every player on the team contributed to this championship! "It was a luxury to have good players to put in the game early in the tournament because depth is particularly important to have if you're playing five matches in one day," Coach Hoegh said, as he spoke of the depth on the Bear squad.
Rylie McRoberts had a very busy day. She had 113 set assists, 25 digs and an ace serve. "Rylie put our hitters in good spots all day. She can dish the ball," Hoegh said.
Lilly DeCook had 52 kills, 6 blocks, 7 digs and 2 aces.
"Lilly was really dominant today, and that continues the trend as this season goes on. She wins a lot of balls at the net with her athleticism and drive."
Taylor O'Donnell had 47 digs, 4 aces, and 10 kills. Courtney Connelly had 36 digs and 5 ace serves. "Taylor and Courtney made some remarkable plays. They both are in the right spot at the right time because of how they read the opponent. Our offense starts with their passing and defense," Hoegh said.
Alex Green served 12 aces and had 7 digs. "Alex had a ridiculous serving run against Pine Island in the semifinal. We love those. Sacia and Devyn provided a lot of offense in that matchup, too," Hoegh said.
Sacia Vanderpool had 37 kills and 2 blocks and Devyn Gowlland had 10 kills, 4 blocks and 6 digs. Payton Sampson had 19 kills, 21 digs, 7 ace serves and 2 blocks. "Payton's approach to hit continues to get better and better. She flies." said Hoegh. Allison More had 6 digs. Emma Ward had 4 set assist and a dig. Taylin Stangler and Makana Schroeder each had a kill and Schroeder also had a dig. "What a cool day for our team. Everyone contributed to this, and they're the proud champions of the Byron Invitational!" Hoegh said.
The eight teams finished in this order 1. Byron 2. Triton 3. Alden-Conger 4. Pine Island 5. Goodhue 6. Chisago Lakes 7. Lyle-Pacelli 8. LaCrescent-Hokah.
The five victories bring Bears to 16-11. They face Triton in the last regular season match tonight.