The varsity volleyball bears bounced back from their heart-breaking five-set season opening loss by adding four matches in the win column and taking the eight-team Rochester Century Tournament held at the National Volleyball Center on Sept. 2.
Every player contributed to the championship throughout the day.
"Our team was really sharp from start to finish and I was incredibly pleased with our energy and level of play," Coach Owen Hoegh said.
"They all had a lot of fun out there and it's pretty cool to come home with a championship from this tournament!"
Byron opened pool play bright and early at 8 a.m. with Austin. The girls came excited and ready to play-even at the early hour!
Byron dominated the match with 25-11 and 25-13 victories.
Next up was Chatfield. The Bears had no trouble defeating the Gophers 25-13 and 25-11. The final round of pool play against Medford looked to be similar to the outcome of the other two, when Byron took the first set 25-12; however, Medford snuck the second set 23-25 due to some unforced errors. Byron took the deciding set 15-11.
Their undefeated pool play put them in the championship match again Le Sueur-Henderson. A combination of aggressive offense, intimidating defense and improved consistency helped Byron in a two-set victory in the championship match with scores of 25-13 and 25-21.
"Our primary passers (Taylor, Courtney, Payton, and Hailey) caught fire on serve receive and our offense went to another level." Hoegh said.
"We won over 70% of the points on serve receive, an extremely rare feat against a team like Le Sueur-Henderson. Ayoka and Hailey were devastating hitters throughout the tournament, but especially in the championship," he added.
Allison Connelly surpassed 1,000 career set assists during the Medford match, tallying 88 on the day. She also had 19 digs an 4 ace serves. "Allison was a really fun player to watch today. She made some fantastic, highlight-reel plays and those get everyone fired up. Allison is the fifth setter in Byron history to pass 1,000 career set assists, which is quite an accomplishment! She is a special player," Hoegh said.
Read the rest of the story in the print edition of the Byron Review.