ATLANTA — The Hillman Tigers and Posen Vikings faced off for the district championship on Friday night. It was a bittersweet North Star League battle. The Tigers struck first. Junior Makenna Grulke tallied up some kills. She contributed nine total, but Posen answered with strategic pushes deep to the corners by Brooke Ciarkowski and Riley Krajniak. Despite the Vikings efforts, the Tigers earned set won 25 to 20.
Set two is where Posen came alive on all aspects of the game. The Vikings fought for an early 9-4 lead before the Tigers called a timeout and made a comeback. Hillman’s Brooke Jones led the arsenal at the net with 12 kills. Posen dropped a timeout and the rest was history. Vikings’ Ciarkowski knocked down the 23rd and 25th point to end the game 25 to 17. Ciarkowski was on fire.
Then, Hillman answered winning set three 25 to 20. Posen fought hard in set four. Ciarkowski saw the floor and found holes tying this one up at 14-all. Later in the set, Posen’s Makayla Kamyszek served up an ace for the 22 -21 lead and timeout Tigers. After the timeout, Hillman senior Alison Samp puts down a dump set right in the middle of the floor helping the Tigers win 26-24, winning the match 3-1 and the district title for the first time since 2009.
“Doing it my senior year feels so amazing,” said Samp. “To accomplish it with the girls that I accomplished it, I never expected it and that just makes it so much sweeter.”
Samp led the team with 20 assists and contributed 8 kills, 11 digs and 2 aces. Jones picked up 48 digs and was proud of the Tigers’ efforts.
“I’ve never experienced a district win in volleyball season,” said Jones. “Coming off this team and just working our butts off the whole season feels amazing.”
Up next, Hillman takes on Leland in Bellaire on Tuesday, November 6th at 6 p.m followed by Mio versus Bellaire.