Team of the Week: Hampton Hawks
It's been 15 years since Hampton last brought home a volleyball state championship, something the Hawks wanted to change entering this week.
“We actually started talking about it during the summer, during conditioning, weight lifting. Because, again, we didn't want to feel that feeling that we had last year at state,” said Madison Van Housen, Hampton senior outside hitter.
Last year in the semi-finals the Hawks lost a thriller to St. Mary's in 5 sets. The crushing defeat served as a reminder of just how difficult it is to win it all.
“When we got to the room to talk, we first of all probably cried for 10 minutes, because we at that point really thought that we were going to be in the finals and potentially win the state championship. So our goal was really deflated,” said Diane Torson, Hampton volleyball coach.
That feeling never left them. Hampton cruised through the regular season losing only two sets the entire year. The Hawks swept Red Cloud and CWC to advance to the finals for a match with the Wynot Blue Devils. This time, Hampton wanted to finish the job.
“One of our themes was sprint to 5 when we get to 20. Sprint to 5. And I just kept reminding the girls of that; they reminded me of that,” said Torson.
Hampton controlled the game from start to finish sweeping the Blue Devils and securing the state championship while also finishing the season 35-0.
“Just to see how hard they worked, how motivated they've been, how well they work as a team. They play each point by point, each game by game, set by set, you know. It's just been so much fun. I probably will have to think on this for a while to fully comprehend everything we've done this year,” said Torson.