J-Hawks take 2nd at State: Makes them most successful team in school's history

Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Photos by Hank Nowak
The Joliet J-Hawks with their 2nd place State B Volleyball trophy, Left to right: Manager Savana Warburton., #5 Makenna Bushman,  Caitlin Miller, #9 Kyelynn Coombe, #6 Skyler Wright, #3 Merrin Schwend, #7 Kylia Kliner, #11 Lily Lavers, #8 ChelSea DuBeau, #2 Joelle Luoma,  #1 Tory Oswald, #4 Shayla Webber,  #10 Annika Bushman, #18 Brooke Miller, Assistant Coach Shay Lind. Head Coach Colette Webber.

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Right, Joliet’s departing seniors, Shayla Webber,  Joelle Luoma , Brooke Miller.

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Joliet's Joelle Luoma scoops up the points against

The Joliet Lady J-Hawks volleyball team finished off their finest ever season by coming second at the State B volleyball in Bozeman. This trophy and their 2nd place at Divisionals makes the team the most successful in the school’s history said Head Coach Collette Webber. 

Joliet played 5 games, two of them against the mighty Huntley Project. Many will feel that Huntley has a new nemesis on its tailcoats despite Joliet saying goodbye to departing seniors Shayla Webber, Joelle Luoma, and Brooke Miller who have helped build this team into its present shape. Their influence will be felt for many seasons to come. 

Joliet opened with a fairly easy win against Anaconda, defeating them 25-18, 25-23, 25-16, although the 2nd set put every J-Hawk fan on alert. Eventually order was restored. The team mustered 32 kills (Makenna Bushman-14, Skyler Wright-8); 30 assists (Shayla Webber-24, Merrin Schwend-6); 5 blocks (Bushman-1.5, ChelSea DuBeau-1); 51 digs (Webber-12, Wright-9, Bushman-9) and 5 aces (Bushman-3, Webber-2.)

Townsend was the next team to fall prey to Joliet although not without a fight and what a fight. Joliet cruised to a first set win 25-13 but then encountered a turnaround of bionic proportions as Townsend pushed the J-Hawks to a 31-29 2nd set win.  Who would be the more exhausted after that? It was soon clear it was Townsend as they fell 25-13.  There were 41 kills (Joelle Luoma-15, Bushman-8, Wright-8); 40 assists (Webber-29, Schwend-9) 8 blocks (Wright-3, Kyelynn Coombe-2); 89 digs (Luoma-23, Wright-19, Webber-18); and 9 aces mostly shared out between Luoma, Webber, Miller-2 and Wright.

Into the undefeated semi final went Joliet to face their first test against Huntley. Buoyed by their belief the J-Hawks took the 1st set 25-18 and rattled their opponents who clutched at everything. A second set saw Huntley turn things around but only just at 25-19 and it was even tighter in the 3rd as the J-Hawks nipped at the Huntley ankles before losing 25-23. How Huntley must have been pleased to see the back of them. If only?

Joilet acquired 34 kills (Bushman-13, Luoma-9, Webber-7); 35 assists (Webber-23, Schwend-10); 5 blocks (Coombe-1.5); 63 digs (Webber-17, Luoma-13); 4 aces (Luoma-2, Bushman-2.)

On to the 3rd place game against Florence and it was all too easy for Joilet as the crushed their opponents in 3 sets, 25-14, 25-18, 25-14. A nice easy fixture before regrouping against Huntley was just what the doctor rightly ordered. 

The team gathered up 47 kills (Luoma-10, Wright-10, Webber-10, Bushman-10); 45 assists (Webber- 24, Schwend-17); 9 blocks (Wright- 3, Bushman-3); 63 digs (Schwend-15, Bushman-12, Webber-12) and 3 aces ( Wright-2, Luoma-1.)

Two hungry teams faced each other again and deservedly in the Championship game. And what a colossal battle it was with Joliet fighting back from 2 sets down (25-17, 25-20)  to tie up the game at 2-2 in two nail biting sets (25-23, 25-23) before that fifth and final short game. Nevertheless it was a score line worthy of a final and one that reflects on what Joliet has become and what they will become. There is plenty of punch left in this team. It is fitting that Webber, Luomo, and Miller, bowed out with some pretty impressive season stats and two trophies to their names.   

For the final stats of the season, they made 49 kills (Luoma-17, Bushman-15- Wright-8); 49 assists (Webber- 34, Schwend-14); 14 blocks (Bushman-3, Luoma-3, Coombe-3, Wright-3); 125 digs (Bushman-32, Webber-23, Wright-23, Luoma-18) and 8 aces (Wright-3, Schwend and Webber-2.)

A satisfying season for head coach Colette Webber and assistant coach Shay Lind.

“The Hawks battled brilliantly with Huntley Project and took them to 5 but fell short in game 5.  We’re super proud of these girls and their team unity and fight,” said Webber.



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