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North Tonawanda spikers' work ethic evident despite early playoff loss

At the start of the season, sophomore Gabby Hansen spoke simple words of wisdom when she said, “hard work wins games.”

That was exactly the approach the North Tonawanda Ladyjacks volleyball team took in 2012.

While the season obviously ended sooner than anyone would have liked there is certainly plenty to be excited about for 2013, and beyond.

Hansen, who was co-captain with fellow tenth grader Leanna Metzger, set that tone of hard work down to the very last point of the season when the Jacks fell to Williamsville-East in the Section VI Class A quarterfinals on Oct.30.

The No.6 seed Jacks opened with a hard fought three-game sweep of Kenmore East in the pre quarters.

Winning by final scores of 27-25, 25-21, and 25-23 NT was led by Hansen who had 48 digs.

Playing with one of, if not the youngest, overall lineups in the Niagara Frontier League the Jacks on most nights starters three sophomores (Hansen, Metzger, Kayla Higgins), an eighth grader (Julie Milbrand) and a junior (Katherine Zgolak) who hadn’t played competitive volleyball since seventh grade.

As a team the Jacks gave exactly what any coach could have asked for. They worked hard, got a little better each day, and most importantly they got along well as a group.

NT also had an unexpected shake up midway through the season when varsity coach Jessica Anderson had to take a medical leave of absence.

Junior varsity coach Katie Feldman was put in place as the varsity coach with volunteer coach Lauren Brosius serving as Feldman’s assistant.

Feldman oversaw the day-to-day workings of both teams for the remainder of the season. As the Ladyjacks look towards next season they will also return juniors Rachel Malone, Rachel Wieclaw, Danielle Kenney, and Ashley Brodfuehrer.

The Jacks say goodbye to seniors Amber Kudla and Sonja Toye.

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