Inexperienced Vikings can’t keep up with Falcons in opener

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

HAYFIELD – The Hayfield volleyball team had a big roster turnover this season and many of the Vikings newcomers were able to get their first taste of varsity volleyball when they lost to Fillmore Central 25-14, 25-12, 25-14 Thursday night.

Hayfield struggled with its offense, but the team stayed scrappy on defense. 

“Tonight was the first time for most of us playing varsity minutes,” said Hayfield senior Chelsea Christopherson, who finished with 14 digs. “We’ve got to keep getting better every game. We’re ready for practice tomorrow and we’re ready to get better. The hits get a lot harder (on varsity) and the serves come a lot faster. You have to be prepared for everything.”

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The Vikings (0-1 overall) battled at times, but they never held a lead throughout the night. They were within 9-7 early in the final game before the Falcons put up eight straight points.

“Tonight showed our inexperience. We only have two or three girls with varsity experience and one of them was on the bench (with an injury). That definitely hurt us,” Hayfield head coach Johanna Kruger said. “We had some good moments and we played with them in the beginning of games one and two, but the speed of the varsity game is a lot different than what these girls saw on JV.”

The Falcons proved to be a tough opening test for Hayfield as they put up a big front line. Kammy Broadwater paced FC with 13 kills.

“We’ve always played them early and I think I played Fillmore in my first match when I was back in high school and they always have big hitters,” Kruger said. “We knew they would have big hitters and they swung over the top of our blocks. We were ready for it, but they swung harder than we anticipated.”

Hayfield sophomore Isabel Winfield finished with 11 digs in her first ever varsity action in the back row.

“That was her first time ever playing varsity and I think she honestly did pretty well for this being her first game,” Kruger said. 

Hayfield stats: Breanna Subbert, 3 kills; Alexys Swygam, 5 kills, 3 blocks; Molly Hansen, 10 set assists, 5 digs; Isabel Winfield, 1 set assists, 11 digs; Chelsea Christopherson, 14 digs, 1 kill, 1 ace; Carly Nelson, 5 kills, 2 blocks; Emily Hansen, 1 kill, 1 dig; Kristen Watson, 5 digs; Natalie Beaver, 10 kills, 3 digs; Reese O’Malley, 7 set assists, 8 digs