Hilanders beat Willamina in final match
By Randy Parks
When the OSAA Class 3A state volleyball tournament ended, Burns was right where they wanted to be — holding the championship trophy.
The Hilanders won the title by downing Willamina 25-18, 25-16, 25-16 in the championship match held at Lane Community College in Eugene.
“I think getting to the title this year was a great accomplishment for these kids.
They had some injuries and other obstacles that they had to overcome in order to gain their confidence to win,” Burns coach Paula Toney said. “Our prior times of state championships helped the coaching staff prepare the team Saturday to get ready for their experience and play up to their potential.”
In the opening game, the two teams traded points until Burns went up 5-4 and Tanzie Bodeen stepped to the serving line. The Hilanders then scored five straight points, a run that included kills by Charli Siegner and Abbey Fenton.
Burns then took a 12-6 lead on a block by Siegner, and went on a 6-0 run with Brittainy Houck serving.
Burns stretched the lead to 23-12 before Willamina got on a little run of their own and closed to within 23-17.
Burns then scored two of the next three points to get the win.
Kayla McConnell served three aces to start the second game and help Burns to a 4-0 lead.
The Bulldogs hung tough however, staying with Burns until the Hilanders led 13-11. Burns then scored four straight points, a run that included kills by Siegner and Fenton, to go up 17-11.
The Hilanders eventually went ahead 24-16 and the match ended on a service error by Willamina.
Burns kept rolling to start the third game, building a 9-3 lead, including three kills by Fenton.
Burns built the lead to 21-13, and outscored the Bulldogs 4-3 to win the 2011 state title.
Burns recorded 36 kills in the match, led by Fenton with 19. Siegner added another 10, Houck five and Maddye Dinsmore two.
Dinsmore was stellar in her performance as setter, recording 31 assists.
Burns also finished with 35 digs, led by Fenton with 11 and Bodeen with nine.
Fenton and Willamina’s Chelsea Moser were named the ODS Players of the Match in the finals.
Dinsmore and Fenton were both named to the First All-Tournament Team.
“The keys to winning were getting the girls to gain trust in each other and create the attitude that they could win by playing tough defense one ball at a time,” Toney said. “Volleyball is a game of mistakes. The girls were able to let go of a mistake and come back the next play. Overall, the girls learned that determination can lead to success even as obstacles continue to try to get in their path.”
Burns vs. Blanchet Catholic
Burns overcame a bit of a shaky start in the semi-finals to defeat Blanchet Catholic in four games, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17.
The Cavaliers took advantage of several Hilander miscues in the first game to jump out to a 9-1 lead.
Burns battled back, tying the score at 11-11, only to see Blanchet go up again 18-12.
Another Hilander rally tied the score at 19-19, and Burns took their first lead of the game at 21-20.
The teams then traded points to 23-23, and the Cavaliers scored twice to grab the win.
Burns trailed much of the second game until coming back to tie the game at 21-21 on a Siegner ace. Three kills by Fenton helped Burns to a 5-3 run and the win.
The Hilanders started well in the third game, getting out to a 10-4 lead. They maintained a lead of at least four until the score reached 19-13.
Blanchet then cut the lead to one at 20-19 and rallied to tie the game at 23-23. A sideout put Burns up by one and Dinsmore slammed a kill shot to give Burns the victory.
Burns carried the momentum from the third game right into the fourth game where they burst out to a 16-4 lead, aided by five Fenton kills.
A Siegner kill, a Dinsmore tip shot and an ace by Siegner helped Burns build a 23-12 lead, and they then went on to win the game and advance to the championship.
Burns vs. Cascade Christian
The Hilanders opened up the tournament by sweeping Cascade Christian in three games, 25-22, 25-17, 25-10.
The Challengers stayed with the Hilanders for much of the first game, but Burns built a 20-15 lead and went on to get the win.
The Hilanders maintained a slim lead throughout the early part of the second game, but then slowly began to pull away, with McConnell’s ace giving them a 17-9 lead.
Cascade Christian got to within four at 18-14, but the Hilanders again pulled away and finished off the Challengers.
Burns controlled the third game from the start, taking a 13-2 lead and never looking back. Burns biggest lead came at 20-6, and they coasted to the win.
Fenton finished with 16 of the team’s 28 kills and Houck added another eight.
Fenton also led the team in aces with five, Dinsmore chalked up 26 assists and Bodeen and McConnell were team leaders in digs with seven and six, respectively.
Looking back on how the season evolved, Toney said, “It was really fun to watch this group of girls work through some of their struggles and watch them transform from individuals on the court at the beginning of the season into a full ‘all in’ team effort to win. They really transformed into a team from beginning to end.”