By Kelsie Hoitomt
The Lady Bulldogs volleyball team hosted the Spring Valley Cardinals last Tuesday night, which ended in their first loss in three games. They were again at home last Thursday to host the Colfax Vikings and finished 0-3.
Both the Cardinals and the Vikings are currently ranked number in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference with a 7-1 record. The Bulldogs’ loss pushed them down from a tie at second place to a two-way tie in fourth place with a 5-3 record.
Cardinals Fly Away With Win
The Bulldogs were not quite the team that had previously stepped on the court the weeks prior as their communication lacked and they struggled to respond to tipped balls or back row serves.
“As a team we did not have the energy that we normally have on the floor and that was evident by our play. We struggled with our passing and our transitions into coverage were slow,” explained coach Taryn Score.
Their lack in cohesion led to the Cardinals three-set sweep of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-22.
The first game started with the Bulldogs getting the first point after a kill by April Lake. The game then tied at 3-3, but that was short lived as the Cardinals flew off with commanding leads of 3-9, 8-16 and then finally 17-25.
The Bulldogs started off the second game looking much better with Marki Lagerstrom scoring the first point from a serve. They would led the game 3-1 and then 4-3 before it knotted at 7-7.
The Bulldogs would keep the Cardinals within in a few points throughout the majority of the game with it at 10-12 and then 17-18 before the Lady Dogs were caught off guard with tipped balls from the Cardinals, which quickly escalated the score to 17-24 and 19-25 for the win.
The final game was in the grasps of the Bulldogs as they looked like they would take their first win of the match with the score tied at 22’s. However, hard hit attacks by the Cardinals and errors on the Bulldogs led to the 22-25 final.
Despite their loss, the Bulldogs played a solid set in the third game with a strong seven-point comeback after they were down 13-20 and then they rallied back to close the gap to 20-22.
Highlighting the night in points was Lake who led the team in kills with 15, Abbey Bird had 23 digs and eight kills, Lagerstrom served eight times with two aces, Hannah Guy stepped in for the team and had two kills, Madysn Riek had a kill and a block solo and Lexi Peterson had a kill and 26 block assists.
Also with kills was Kennedy Hellmann with four, McKenzie Schultz had two and Abby Lorenz had one as well.
0-3 Against Vikings
It was a good night to watch a competitive, three-game bout of volleyball on Thursday as the Bulldogs hosted the Vikings. The Lady Dogs fought hard, but were unsuccessful at capturing a win as they lost 25-17, 21-25 and 25-27.
Lake slammed down a kill in the opening game to start the Bulldogs off with the first point. The game remained close with a 5-5 score and then 8-9 after a long rally, which saw four attack attempts by Boyceville.
However, serves by the Vikings dropped in on the Bulldogs and they were unable to set up an affective play which led to Colfax’s jump in the score and the win.
The girls fell behind quicker in the beginning of the second game after they seemed to communicate less and were running into each other. They then regained some life after Hellmann had a three-point serve run to bump the score up to 10-14.
They edged the score within three points through the help of Lake as she did an excellent job of reading the floor and placing tipped balls in the right spot for a score.
The moved to 21-22 with Brittany Tetzlaff serving, but that was the most the Bulldogs would post on the scoreboard in that game.
The energy in the third game was high on the Bulldogs’ side of the net and it showed as the girls were fierce in their play with consistent, hard hit attacks and strong blocks by Bird, Lake, Peterson, Riek and Hellmann.
The game started with the Bulldogs down 1-5, but they were able to rally back after errors on the Vikings to put the score at 9-9. They jumped out to a slight lead of 15-13 and again at 20-17.
Errors in communication or missed passes would knot the game all the way through 25-25 until the Vikings sealed the final two points on well-executed attacks.
“It was disappointing for us. We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t play great either. We had a difficult time stringing good things together to really get momentum rolling in our direction and we made foolish mistakes like being in the net, letting the ball drop due to miscommunication and serving out when we finally started to make a run,” explained coach Score.
The Bulldogs posted a total of 29 kills including Lake with 12, Bird with eight, Hellmann had five, Riek had two and Jenna Beyrer and Hannah Guy each had one.
On the schedule for the Bulldogs was their final game of the regular conference season this past Tuesday night, October 15. They will be in Shell Lake for an invitational this Saturday (Oct. 19) starting at 9:30 a.m.