Henning ends season with record of 25-6, sub section title

Photos by Chad Koenen
Members of the Henning High School volleyball team celebrated their sub section championship on Thursday night. Team members and coaches include: Front row: Alissa Winters, Kayla Hoelscher, Lillian Moench, Gretchen Eckhoff, Ally Hart, Faith Fisher, Aaliyah Olson and Becca Frederick. Back row: Jessica Iliff, Natalie Eckhoff, Lyvia Misegades, Myiesha Antoni, Ella Missling, Lila Thorson, Alivia Gunderson, Naomi Horn and Kristy Finck.

The Henning Hornets ended their successful season with a 25-6 overall record on Saturday night. The Hornets fell to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in five games in the Section 6A championship game. To get to the final game the Hornets defeated the Breckenridge Cowgirls on Thursday night for the sub-section championship. 

With the Henning fans cheering in the background, Faith Fisher, Becca Frederick, Ally Hart, Gretchen Eckhoff and Lyvia Misegades celebrate a point during Saturday’s Section 6A championship game. 

In the match against Breckenridge the Hornets played with a lot of intensity and composure. In all three games we started slow, going point for point and then Henning would make a run on their second round of serving. Aaliyah Olson (19/20 with 1 ace) served the most during those runs. The girls served aggressive which made the Cowgirls struggle with serve receive. 

Aaliyah Olson dives for a ball during Thursday’s sub section championship game in Fergus Falls.

Game scores of the match were 25-19, 25-22 and 25-21.  It was a great win, Breckenridge is a very good team and the Cowgirls wanted revenge from Henning’s win over them early in the season. With this win the Hornet’s knew they were one game away from making it to state. As a team the Hornets served 92 percent with 47 kills, hitting at .140, 5 blocks, serve received 93 percent to the target.  

Ally Hart picks up a dig on Thursday night. Earlier in the game she became the first Hornet in school history to eclipse the 2,000 career dig mark.

Leading the team was Ally Hart, she had 15 kills, 3 blocks, served 9/9 with one ace, and had 25 digs. Gretchen Eckhoff also had a well rounded game as she had 11 kills, 21 digs and 8 assists. Lyvia Misegades had 8 kills, 3 blocks and 33 assists. Faith Fisher led the team in digs with 26. Becca Frederick had 7 kills, Natalie Eckhoff had 4 and Alivia Gunderson added 3. 

After the game Hart was recognized for her 2,000 career dig. She is the first player in Hornet history to reach this milestone. 

With one day between game the Hornets were able to get a quick practice in to prepare for their next match-up. After Henning’s game against Breckenridge they were able to stay and the match between BBE and Brandon-Evansville. 

Gretchen Eckhoff sends a spike past a Breckenridge blocker on Thursday night. 

BBE defeated Brandon 3-0 to advance to the Section Finals. Head coach Kristy Finck said they Hornets knew they had to come in ready to play the best volleyball that they have all year. BBE’s outside hitter Ava Mueller, who made the all-state team was the Jaguars number one player Henning needed to stop.  

The Hornets goal was to get them out of system so that they could not set the ball where they needed to. For the most part, Finck said the team did what they had planned, but Mueller took control of the game from all areas of the court. She was very hard to stop, as she could tool Henning’s blocks or put the ball where she needed.

Faith Fisher picks up a dig during Saturday’s Section 6A championship game against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.

Finck said she was extremely proud for how the team played. The Hornets played with a relentless pursuit. The girls dug balls that she thought was going to be down, they kept making BBE moving with Henning’s offensive hits and once their blocking started they had them rattled that way.  It was an intense game from start to finish. 

Natalie Eckhoff and Becca Frederick attempt to block a shot during Thursday’s game against Breckenridge.

“I know we did not come out the winners of the match, but the Hornets put up the best battle I have watched in my 13 years as head coach in Henning,” said Finck. “I am beyond proud of these young ladies. The scores of the game were 25-20, 14-25, 31-33, 25-17 and 11-15.” 

As a team the Hornets served 97 percent with 5 aces. Henning had 52 kills, 9 blocks, and serve received 91 percent to target. 

Alivia Gunderson sends a shot past a Breckenridge blocker on Thursday.

Ally Hart led the team with 16 kills, 3 blocks, 39 digs and served 22/22 with 1 ace. Becca Frederick also had 16 kills, and had 5 blocks. Lyvia Misegades had 12 kills, 36 assists, 5 blocks and 10 digs. Gretchen Eckhoff had 7 kills, 10 assists, served 21/21 with one ace and 23 digs. Faith Fisher had 25 digs and served 17/17. Natalie Eckhoff and Alivia Gunderson each had a kill and some block touches. Aaliyah Olson served 19/19 with 2 aces and had 12 digs. 

“The girls and I would like to say thank you to all of our fans for your support throughout the season, you are the best,” said Finck. “It is great having the support from so many people. Your cheering brings added energy to our team.”

Henning High School senior Ally Hart became the first person in school history to reach the 2,000 dig mark. Already the school record holder in digs, Hart reached the milestone during Thursday’s sub section championship game against the Breckenridge Cowgirls. Hart (third from the left) is pictured with the rest of the senior volleyball players, Faith Fisher, Aaliyah Olson, Gretchen and Natalie Eckhoff and Becca Frederick.