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Black Hawk's conference streak at 32
Times photo: Adam Krebs Black Hawks Kim Wellnitz (3) slams a spike passed Pecatonicas Kaitlyn Linder (8), Elizabeth Ihm (12) and Cassie Swenson (15) during Tuesdays match.
SOUTH WAYNE - Black Hawk's conference winning streak has reached 32 matches after sweeping Pecatonica, Tuesday, 25-12, 25-18, 25-11.

The Warriors opened the game just as they closed it, on a huge run. Wanting to open the match with authority, the Warriors rattled off 13 of the first 16 points. At the end, Black Hawk went on a 14-3 run to continue the streak.

"I really like how we started," Black Hawk coach Rachel Wolff said. "We needed to come out strong. We've had a few of these games where we haven't played up to our potential, and this time, Game 1, we came out strong. I was very happy to see that."

The Vikings knew that when playing the very best team in the area, they had to bring their A-game.

"(Black Hawk's) tough. We tried to light a fire from the get-go and just couldn't get anything going," Pecatonica coach Cher Schliem said. "We knew we were going to have to make them work hard for every point they were going to earn, and we didn't."

While getting swept nearly a month ago in Blanchardville, the Vikings had a hard time to start each point - from both serve and serve receive. With those two area's shored up, Schliem thought her squad was ready to make things happen.

"You try to pull your tricks out of your bag, but against a tough team it's hard," she said. "We tried to make adjustments, but it didn't work. It's kind of frustrating."

Black Hawk rolled through the opening game, allowing Pecatonica to score two consecutive points just twice in the frame. Rachel Rygh recorded a kill for the first four points, then had an ace to make it 6-1 early.

"We just couldn't get into an offensive rhythm. When you can't get in your rhythm, it's pretty easy for the other team to just go at you," Schliem said.

In Game 2, the Warriors again jumped out early, leading 15-6 at one point. That's when the Vikings rattled off five straight points, closing the gap to 15-11, forcing Wolff to call a timeout to slow the momentum.

The two squads exchanged points back and forth the rest of the game, with Pecatonica looking as if it was picking up momentum.

"Pecatonica is a good team. You really have to look out for them," Wolff said.

In the third game, the Warriors could hardly find a way to separate themselves from the Vikings. After Black Hawk led 8-4, the two teams swapped eight straight points. From there, the Warriors cruised to the win.

"We've been stressing on minimizing the errors. That's what we did in Game 1, and that's what we did at the end of Game 3," Wolff said. "Everyone got in to play. Some of those kids who don't see the floor very often did a nice job of stepping in and knowing their roles."

The Warriors have more momentum now than ever before. Now over halfway through the regular season, Wolff knows this year's team is something special.

"We have not only the strongest hitting team we've ever had, but they are smart. If we can get the ball to them off of those sets, good things are going to happen. And we don't have just one or two hitters, we have a slew of hitters that have the potential to do a nice job," she said.

As a team, the Warriors collected 26 points off of kills. Rygh and Melissa Wellnitz tied for the match lead with six kills each, and Nicole Kloepfer had five. Katie Place had five blocks and Kim Wellnitz had three. Riley Argall served up four aces.

For Pecatonica, Cassie Swenson had a team-high four kills and 21 digs.

Black Hawk hosts Barneveld, Thursday and Pecatonica will take on Albany at home.