By: Nate Calvin
DEFIANCE – Hilltop avenged one of their two losses this season by beating Edgerton, the last team to hand Hilltop a loss, 25-15, 25-17, 25-9 at Defiance High School.
Hilltop started fast with kills from four different Lady Cadets to help them take a 9-3 lead and resulting in an Edgerton timeout.
Hilltop built the lead to 11-4 before three straight points by the Bulldogs trimmed the advantage to 11-7.
Libbie Baker led a 4-0 surge by the Cadets with back-to-back blocks and then a kill to make 15-7.
Hilltop maintained a comfortable lead by going up 20-11 after a kill by Gabby Rodriguez and Baker finished off her big first set with a kill to close out a 25-15 win.
Edgerton was able to take a 7-6 advantage to start the second set, but Jayma Bailey slammed a kill to tie it 7-7 and then served seven straight points as Hilltop extended their lead to 14-7.
Edgerton then put together their best scoring run of the night at 8-3 aided by a pair of kills from Sadie Walther to cut the deficit to 17-15.
The Cadets responded with a 7-1 run to take command 24-17 and Baker finished off the set with a kill for the win in set number two.
The final set was all Hilltop from start to finish as Rodriguez and Baker had two kills each to put the Cadets in front 6-1.
The lead would swell to 15-4 and then 20-9 before Brynn Rodriguez served out the match for the Cadets with five straight points to send Hilltop back to the district finals.
Baker recorded 10 digs, eight kills, and finished with six blocks and Bailey was a perfect 23/23 serving with four aces and racked up 24 digs for Hilltop.
Bri Wickerham fronted Edgerton with 23 digs, Taylor Smith tallied 18 assists, and Walther added 11 kills.
Hicksville won the second semifinal of the night in straight sets over Ayersville 25-15, 25-11, 26-24 to setup a rematch of last year’s district final with Hilltop back at Defiance on Thursday at 6:30pm.
Hilltop won last season’s district final match 25-21, 25-23, 25-12 while the Aces won this season’s regular season match between the two back on August 29th 15-25, 25-12 22-25, 26-24, 15-11 in Hicksville.
Hilltop d. Edgerton 25-15, 25-17, 25-9
Edgerton (17-7) – Taylor Smith: 18 assists, 3 digs, 9/10 attacking; Bri Wickerham: 15/16 serve receive, 23 digs; Addie Cape: 11 digs, 11/13 serve receive; Sadie Walther: 31/36 attacking, 11 kills, 3 blocks; Noelle Ritter: 27/30 attacking, 5 kills, 15 digs, 3 blocks, 17/20 serve receive; Kayt Timbrook: 21-26 attacking, 3 kills, 11/13 serve receive, 15 digs
Hilltop (22-2) – Jayma Bailey: 23/23 serving, 4 aces, 24 digs, 25/25 attacking, 7 kills, 2 blocks; Joscelyn Layman: 10/10 serving, 5 digs, 29 assists; Gabby Rodriguez: 10 digs, 26/27 attacking, 10 kills; Mia Hancock: 9/10 serving, 10 digs, 12/13 attacking, 5 kills, 3 blocks; Libbie Baker: 13/14 serving, 10 digs, 18/21 attacking, 8 kills, 6 blocks
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