Battle of the Birds puts Horizon back in the win column

Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 10/24/18

In a match-up that was much closer than the final score, the Horizon Hawks won the battle of the birds against cross-town rival Broomfield 3-0. However, despite the three-set victory on the scorecard …

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Battle of the Birds puts Horizon back in the win column

Posted

In a match-up that was much closer than the final score, the Horizon Hawks won the battle of the birds against cross-town rival Broomfield 3-0.

However, despite the three-set victory on the scorecard for the Lady Hawks, 25-23 wins in both game one, and two put the Lady Eagles in contention of what was a much closer contest than the three-game clincher dictated.

Falling in two consecutive conference games, Horizon (15-6, 5-5 in conference) snapped not only that streak, but a three-game winning streak of the Lady Eagles (9-9, 6-5 in conference).

“It feels great to get back in the win column,” Horizon Head Coach Julie Kindzerski-Gray said. “I really felt we needed that push to get us into the next couple of weeks with these last few games and the playoffs upcoming.”

Combined in the first two sets, 14 lead-changes and 20 ties displayed the fight of both groups. Trying to climb their way back it seemed like all night, Broomfield found themselves tied at 23 in both sets, but four clutch points for Horizon proved the decider.

In Game 1, consecutive points by junior Hannah Wilmes and senior Camden Strain (spike) sealed the win. A game later, an ace by senior Kaitlin Martin and a miscue by Broomfield put Horizon up 2-0.

The final set is when Horizon, led by junior Lauren Strain, Martin, and C. Strain, seized control. Broomfield took the 2-0 lead, but Horizon closed on a 25-13 run for the conference win on Senior Night. Dominating at the net, the Strain sisters and Martin put their imprint on a much-needed win.

“They are critical players for us. They are great at strong front blocking and making plays at the net. They’re a huge component to our team, and I think they did really great tonight.”

Two statistics, blocks and kills, can determine domination at the net. Horizon had their way with these numbers.

Broomfield recorded four blocks compared to 22 from Horizon. The Lady Hawks were led by L. Strain’s nine followed by junior Hannah Ton’s eight. C. Strain, Wilmes and sophomore Logan Kuehn recorded six, five and five also in this category.

Lady Eagles’ junior Vicki Fankell led her team with eight kills out of 15. Horizon accounted for 29 kills with C. Strain leading the way with nine. L. Strain and Martin followed with seven and six kills each.

Another eye-popping number for the Horizon attack was 11 aces on the night. Junior Sari Szulinski led the team with eight digs as Wilmes (19), and Kuehn (10) accounted for all of the teams’ assists.

On a night Horizon sends off seniors Meredith De La Torre, Martin and Strain, Kindzerski-Gray couldn’t be prouder of a group that has meant so much to her program.

“They have been so huge for our team by being great role models and people. They work hard every day and really set the tone in the gym. We always miss our seniors, but these ones specifically are trend-setters for the program.”

Horizon will travel to Monarch (9-8, 5-6 in conference) for their final regular season game of the year Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Broomfield will host Poudre (4-15, 2-8 in conference) Oct. 23 and Palmer Ridge (13-6, 5-2 in conference) Oct. 27 in their final two games.

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