<HR><CENTER><B>Patriots sweep EHS</B></CENTER>

By John Rittenhouse

Two teams from the Star Herald coverage area met in Hills Thursday for the opening volleyball match of the season for both squads.

The Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots made their debut by hosting Tri-County Conference rival Ellsworth.

H-BC got the best of the Panthers by posting a 3-0 victory.

"We played well for the first game of the season," said first-year Patriot coach Nicole Fey. "We still have some things to fine-tune, but I was happy with the way we played for the first time."

H-BC won the match by posting 15-11 victories over the Panthers in Games 1 and 3 with a 15-7 victory coming in between.

Although the Panthers came up on the short end of the scores, Ellsworth coach Ryan Nielsen was pleased with his team's initial performance of the campaign.

"For the first game of the year, we did all right. All the games were well fought out; they just got the edge each time. We had some girls who were playing new positions. We had some mental breakdowns, but that was to be expected. Once we overcome our mistakes we'll be OK," he said.

Connie Lewis had a good match for the Panthers that included recording five kills and five blocks.

Jamie Arp led the Patriots in serving by completing all 11 of her attempts and recording five aces. Tonya Leenderts was 11 of 13 with three aces.

Shanna Tilstra was 14 of 20 spiking with nine kills to pace H-BC. Erin Boeve was 11 of 14 with seven kills and Becky Broesder nine of 11 with three kills.

LaDonna Sandstede (47 of 51) and Brittney Olson did the setting for the winners.

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