The sixth one was the toughest so far.
But the final result is all that matters and the The Piper volleyball team made it six wins in a row without a setback to start the 2012 season with a come-from-behind 3-2 triumph over Wis-Stout Friday night at Hutton Arena to conclude the opening day of the Hamline Invitational.
HU grabbed an early lead with a solid 25-16 win in Game 1. But the Blue Devils used a 10-0 run to claim a 15-25 decision in Game 2 and came away with the last word in a 23-25 decision in game 3. That left HU facing elimination for the first time all season.
Game 4 started badly but the Pipers shook off a 8-13 deficit to road to a 25-19 win and force a fifth game. It went back and forth for a while with HU inching ahead to an 8-5 lead. The Pipers changed sides of the court and took control, racking up seven straight points, closing out in style with a Karley Kilian kill.
The six straight wins is believed to be a school record in volleyball. The same is true for the 6-0 start, currently the best overall mark in the MIAC.
Mackenzie Remick had the heavy hand, recording 14 kills to lead the offense. Kilian and Frankie Miller chipped in with 10 kills each. Sammie Miller recorded 25 assists. Becka Mozes was close behind with 22. In all, HU had 56 assists, two short of their season high. Jamie Rubbelke led a 105-dig attack with 25 while Frankie Miller had 20.
Earlier in the day, Hamline started strong and stayed that way to post a solid 3-0 win over Presentation. Remick led a balanced offensive surge with nine kills and just two attack errors. The sophomore also had four solo blocks. Sammie Miller had 23 assists. The Pipers had a rare trio of double digit diggers. Rubbelke and Lynsey Reimer led the way with 14 each while Frankie Miller added 13.
HU had just one error in a 25-10 win in game 1. They had just two in the 25-13 second game, finishing off the visitors with a 25-14 third game win.
The Pipers won't have long to revel in their hot start. They play a pair again Saturday, facing Crown at 12:00 P.M. and finishing with Buena Vista at 4:00 p.m.