The Hannan Hawks punched their ticket for the volleyball state tournament Monday night with an easy three-game win over Fisher 25-3, 25-9 and 25-14 in the second round of the Division IV playoffs.
“We didn’t want to overlook anybody,” Hannan coach Rebekka Bonnaffee said. “We looked at (Fisher’s) record and thought we would have a legitimate shot to move on. We are excited to win this game just as much as any other playoff game and now we get to head to the state tournament.”
Hannan (25-7) was led by all-everything outside hitter Hailey Cabeceiras. Only a freshman, Cabeceiras had 20 kills, eight digs and four aces in the win. Not to be outdone, fellow freshman Tatum Ballard had five aces and 17 assists and sophomore Danielle Loup had six digs. Mikayla Boyer also had four kills in the win.
Breaking out to a 12-1 lead in the first game, the Hawks took the opening game 25-3.
The second game was almost equally as dominant for the Hawks. Hannan opened Game 2 on a 12-3 lead en route to the 25-9 victory.
Bonnaffee cleared her bench in the third game, but that didn’t stop the impressive play from Hannan. The Hawks scored six of the first seven points of the third game, saw their lead balloon to 19-9 before finishing up with the 25-14 victory.
The Hannan coach admitted her biggest worry was keeping her team focused.
“We needed to stay level-headed and not play lackadaisical volleyball,” Bonnaffee said. “I thought our team did a good job of doing that and ending it in three games. We got to play a lot of young players and it was good to get their feet wet in the playoffs.”
Cabeceiras echoed her coach’s sentiments.
“It is always tough to stay focused through slow games like this,” she said. “The adrenaline was going early on because we know this was what was standing between us and the state tournament.
“I’m excited that we are in now. It’s fun to see all the hard work that we have put in all season long finally paying off. It means it was all worth it.
“Now we need to buckle down and bring it once we get to the state tournament,” she said. “I believe if this team plays their best that we are more than capable of taking home a state championship.”
Fisher (15-8) was led by Jamilyn LaCross, who had two kills and Kailyn Guidry who added a pair of aces. Alaina Harding also had a kill.
“We just ran into a much better team tonight,” Gators coach Kim Matherne said. “I’m proud of my team for getting as far as they did, but Hannan is just a really good team and we didn’t play our best tonight.”