HHS routs Titans, but tall task next

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News The Indians celebrate after a winning point Thursday against Boylan. Pictured are Lilly Littlefield (4), Kenzie Kidd (right) and Jade Hoper (left).

ROCKFORD - The Hononegah volleyball team knows that it will face terrific competition right around the corner.

For now, though, the Indians are content with simply devouring their NIC-10 competition.

Hononegah went on the road Thursday night and bludgeoned Boylan 25-11, 25-12 to move to 8-0 in conference play.

The Indians will play in the hyper-competitive Mother McCauley Tournament held in Chicago Friday and Saturday.

They will then take on the only other worthy competition in the conference, a Belvidere North team that is similarly undefeated as we reach the halfway point in the schedule.

Hononegah coach Kaylee Libby said she was impressed by her team's approach to Thursday's match.

"This team just comes out to the floor even-keeled and they get the job done," Libby said. "They are focused and they keep it simple. Last year's team, when we were riding on high emotions and good vibes, things were great. When we weren't, it wasn't great. We needed emotion to create momentum, and this team is just more consistent emotionally, and that also really helps out with the volleyball play."

The Indians have a lot of youth on the floor at any given moment, but it was a pair of upperclassmen who led the way Thursday. Senior Lilly Littlefield played a terrific all-around match with 14 assists, six digs, an ace and a kill. Junior Kenzie Kidd led the team with six kills and finished with five digs.

Libby said Littlefield's leadership is just as critical as anything she provides that ends up in the boxscore.

"I don't have enough good things to say about Lilly," Libby said. "She goes in there and works super hard. She's very demanding on the court, and the kids respond to her. They want to play for her. I've been really happy with her this year."

Kidd said the team didn't want to ever give Boylan the idea they could win the match, and in both games that assumed large early leads before cruising to the victory.

"It's always good to keep a team down because then you can work even harder to maintain it," Kidd said. "Everybody got to play tonight, so that was great, too."

Littlefield said she feels as though the team has come together, on and off the court.

"We are a young team with a lot of potential, and so far we've been able to play well every single time," Littlefield said. "But we haven't maxed out yet. It's been fun to see us grow together every time out. We love each other and connect well as a team. We have bonded like no other team I've ever been on."

Libby said that despite the fact the team will likely have the first blemish on its record after this weekend, she's looking forward to seeing how it responds.

"In practice yesterday, we were a little bit slow and I had to remind them that they haven't really beaten anybody yet," Libby said. "And I think this weekend is going to show us what it's like to play at a faster pace against stronger kids. We are going to have to defend harder and attack harder than we have been. In a nice way, I think it's going to be a wake-up call for them."

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