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Hancock sweeps Goretti

September 23, 2004|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - The Hancock Panthers' volleyball team is starting to turn things around.

After losing their first four matches, Hancock has won two in a row.

The Panthers got their most recent victory Wednesday night, sweeping the St. Maria Goretti Gaels 25-17, 25-16, 25-13 in an Apple Valley League match.

Hancock made the most out of its depth advantage against Goretti, continuously executing by bringing in fresh players off the bench.

"All of the players got a lot of playing time," Hancock coach Debbie Bowman said. "This is probably the most depth that I have ever had. All of the girls are pretty close in ability. I didn't have any doubts with subbing. I felt confident in taking out one group of six and putting in another group of six."

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Jenna Demory had eight assists and seven service points, while Jennifer Willison had eight service points, five kills and four aces for Hancock. Brittany Jenkins added eight service points and five kills, while Jessica Himes had five assists for the Panthers.

Freshman Gabby Turano had four service points in a row to help the Gaels take a 5-2 lead in the first game. But the Panthers came roaring back behind six straight service points by Demory to take the lead for good in the first game at 10-6. Willison tacked on four consecutive points to extend Hancock's lead to 15-7.

Hancock was only leading 12-11 midway through the second game. But Jessica Kerns got four consecutive service points and Jenkins added five straight to boost the Panthers' lead to 23-14. Hancock sealed the victory on a game-ending kill by Taryn Helmstetter.

Willison had four service points in a row, including three aces, during the third game to give the Panthers a 12-3 advantage.

Anna Byers and Turano had eight service points each for Goretti (0-7), while Sara Crum added six digs and four kills and Eva Vojtasko had seven digs.

"We have a young team and we are still learning," Goretti coach Holly Aleshire said. "The girls have improved 100 percent since last year. Basically, don't count us out yet. We still have a long season to go."

JV: Hancock, 2-1.

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