Hogan adjusting well to new position for Wildcats
FRONT ROYAL – Brianna Hogan is adjusting well to her new role with Warren County.
The junior moved from outside hitter to middle hitter this season for the Wildcats’ volleyball team, and on Tuesday she showed how formidable she can be. Hogan helped lead Warren County to a 3-0 (25-9, 25-15, 25-18) win over cross-town rival Skyline.
“I think I did really good (Tuesday),” Hogan said. “I think everyone did good. I think we played as a team.”
Hogan had five kills and two blocks in the victory for the Wildcats in the Northwestern District victory.
Hogan said she’s been playing some of her best volleyball the last few matches for the Wildcats as she gets used to the new position.
“It’s definitely a different spot,” she said. “And it’s a position where you have to be quick, and you have to be there at the right time.”
Warren County head coach Dorinda Robinson said she’s been pleased with what she’s seen from Hogan this season.
“She’s come on here lately,” Robinson said. “Defensively, she’s really getting her hands on some blocks. And then offensively she’s being a little smarter picking and choosing a little bit more what she does whether it be tipping or running a quick (attack); she’s just a little more decisive.”
Warren County setter Morgan Coons said Hogan gives the team another player they can turn to when they need a big hit or play.
“She’s been playing really, really, really well, especially with consistency,” Coons said. “She’s a big hitter. She’s a big blocker, and she has a lot of power, and we can really utilize her. And I think we found in our rotation where she can really be utilized well.”
Hogan was part of Warren County’s Class 3 state runners-up team, mostly used off the bench. This season she’s had a much bigger role on the team, including being a starter. Hogan said she learned a lot last summer, which has helped her be successful this season.
Robinson said Hogan has also become more of a leader this year.
“I told her, ‘you’re a junior now, and you need to step up and take a little bit more leadership role here,'” Robinson said. “And the last couple games she’s really picked it up.”
The Wildcats improved to 12-3 with Tuesday’s win over Skyline, and they used two big runs to pull away.
Clinging to an 11-8 lead in the first set, the Wildcats went on a 14-1 run to close out the set. Senior Kaley Foulks had three kills, and two blocks and Hogan had a kill and a block during the run.
The Wildcats (12-3, 5-0 Class 3 Northwestern) jumped out early in the second set and cruised to a two-set lead in the match. In the third set, Skyline led 8-3 before the Wildcats put together another impressive run. Warren County used a 16-4 spurt to take a 19-12 edge and held on for the win.
“We just kind of let down a little bit in the third,” Robinson said. “And then we regrouped and finished strong, so that was good.”
Foulks led the Wildcats with 13 kills and three blocks, while Coons had 19 assists and 10 digs. Nicole Sayre had nine digs, and Jayda Saulsbury had eight digs for the Wildcats. Lauren Fox added two blocks for the Wildcats.
Coons said that the energy from the fans, especially the student section, helped the Wildcats out.
“I think we kind of used each other’s energy,” Coons said. “And our student section really got us excited and helped us utilize our really big accomplishments and their mistakes.”