BELOIT — Hesston High’s volleyball team was seeded No. 2 going into Saturday’s Class 3A Sub-State, but there was no doubt it was No. 1 by day’s end.
The Swathers did not lose a set to qualify for state for the third year in a row as it will head to Emporia on Friday.
Hesston wasn’t really pushed in any of its matches, winning 25-14, 25-12 against Sterling, 25-14, 25-13 in the semifinals against Phillipsburg and then 25-19, 25-17 over the top seed Beloit for the championship.
“This was a great day from start to finish,” Hesston coach Jason Peters said. “We began the day with a team breakfast and then spent over 12 hours of the rest of the day traveling or in the gym at Beloit. The team was incredibly focused throughout the long day and successfully accomplished their goal of playing with energy and passion throughout all three matches.”
Peters said the Swathers were able to overcome a rabid Beloit hometown crowd and a good Trojan team in the finals.
“We took control from the start, extending an early lead to a five- or seven-point margin in each set and were able to hold off a few little runs that they had along the way to finish out the championship match against a very good team,” Peters said.
Probable All-Stater Kailey Jo Ince pounded down 34 kills in three matches to spark the Swathers. The efficient Alana Dunlavy went over 20 assists in each match and totaled 65 for the day. Dunlavy hustled all over the court as she also was credited with 22 digs, one off the team high of 23 by Kennedy Teach.
Hesston, now 34-6, is the No. 5 seed at state. It plays Silver Lake (35-5) at 4:30 p.m., Thomas More Prep (38-2) at 5:30 and Humboldt (28-11) at 7:30.
The other side of the bracket includes Wellsville (35-4), Seneca-Nemaha Central (32-8), Cheney (35-4) and Douglass (31-6).
Saturday’s semifinals start at 2 p.m.