Lady Hawks Repeat Champions

Lady Hawks Repeat Champions

The Hebron volleyball team had been unstoppable all season long. No matter how many top-ranked opponents stood in their way, the Lady Hawks made winning look easy while inching closer to yet another state championship.

On November 18, in front of a packed crowd of 1,783 fans at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Hebron (41-7) won its third straight Class 6A title with a 25-17, 25-14, 25-15 sweep of Katy Seven Lakes. The championship was Hebron’s fifth overall since opening its doors in 1999. Even more impressive than that, Hebron is one of only two teams in the state’s largest classification — the other being Amarillo — to win three straight state titles.

“It’s unbelievable,” head coach Karin Keeney told the Dallas Morning News following the win. “If you had told me that at the beginning of the season, I wouldn’t have believed you, because we were a little rough this year.”

Keeney didn’t mince words earlier this season when she said the loss of four-year starting setter and Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year, Kylee McLaughlin, was a tough spot to fill. For those who don’t know, the setter is to volleyball what the quarterback position is to football. Having the right person in that spot is critical, as the setter not only provides leadership, but ultimately controls how everything operates on the court.

Not having McLaughlin was hard at first as the Lady Hawks lost seven matches in the first three weeks of the season. They won their final 24 to close out the season.

Outside hitter Adanna Rollins, a Minnesota signee and first-team Under Armour All-American, was named the MVP of the state final as she finished with 18 kills. Sophomore Nicole Drewnick finished with 11 kills.

And the win truly was dominating. On a stage where every team you face is the best of the best, Hebron’s finals match with Katy Seven Lakes took just more than an hour to finish. Seven Lakes was making its first state tournament appearance, but was coming off a huge win over San Antonio O’Connor in the semifinals.

Hebron rolled with a win over The Woodlands in the semifinals before beating Seven Lakes.

The biggest test will come this offseason as Keeney prepares to replace 13 seniors, including Rollins and libero Annie Benbow. Not only was Rollins one of 23 players from Texas to make the Under Armour list, but Benbow was listed as an honorable mention.

The duo were also selected to the 2017 American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason Girls Volleyball Team. The teams were chosen by John Tawa of PrepVolleyball.com.

Rollins was a first-team selection. Benbow made second team.

But if anyone knows how to work with new talent and win at the highest level, it’s Keeney – and the Lady Hawks.

With five state titles under their belts, who’s going to question them?


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