By Kelsie Hoitomt
BOYCEVILLE – With tears and frustration the Lady Bulldogs left their own court defeated after losing out 1-3 to the Unity Eagles in the first round of Regional play last Tuesday, October 22.
The Eagles took an early lead over the Bulldogs, winning the first two sets 25-19 and 25-18 after errors plagued their performance.
The Eagles were able to find openings on the court and set up their attacks, which either sent the Bulldogs scrambling after the ball or the ball went out of bounds.
The closest the first set got was a score of 16-18 with the Bulldogs only trailing by two points. The Eagles went on a tear after that, which resulted in their win.
Game two began with the Bulldogs up 4-3 after a service ace by Lexi Peterson. Mckenzie Schultz was in the back row taking the majority of the serve receives and she did a solid job passing them to Peterson, which allowed the Bulldogs to stay in the game.
The score tied at 13, but slow feet caused the Eagles to take a three-point lead and then eventually run away with the lead for their second win.
The Bulldogs weren’t going down without a fight however, so they rallied back in the third set to win 25-21.
Freshman Hannah Guy started off the game with the Bulldogs’ first kill and then a block by April Lake put the Bulldogs ahead 5-4.
The Eagles did not make the victory an easy as they stayed in close range of the Bulldogs with the score changing leads several times.
It wasn’t until Madysn Riek slammed down a kill and Kennedy Hellmann served an ace that the Bulldogs took another two-point lead after being down.
The game quickly knotted at 17, but then the Bulldogs took another three-point lead of 21-18. The Eagles caught up once again and the score board read 22-21, but a lengthy rally ending in a kill by Guy put the Bulldogs ahead by two points.
With the Bulldogs at game point, Riek finished the set with a final kill to give the team their first and only win.
The momentum of the win carried over to the start of the fourth set for the Bulldogs and the Eagles looked a bit sluggish on the court.
Because of this the Bulldogs jumped to a quick three-point lead and then eventually the score was 7-3 and then 10-3 with good attacks coming from Boyceville.
After a kill by Peterson, the score reflected a seven-point lead of 12-5 and the Bulldogs looked to be going for their second win.
However, the Eagles woke up from their slumber and the game quickly changed as the roles reversed and the Bulldogs were now down 12-13 after Unity went on an eight-point run.
The Bulldogs kept the Eagles within a point after Lake landed a kill to put the score at 16-17. Next it was the effort of Abbey Bird that put the score at 19-21.
It was then that Hellmann landed the Bulldogs’ last kill for their final point of the set and the Eagles ran away with the win of 25-20.
Overall we played some great volleyball, but we let the games get away from us by allowing too many mistakes on our part, such as shanked passes and serving or hitting errors. However, these girls played hard, but we were just not consistent enough in our play to get the win,” expressed coach Taryn Score.
For the match, Lake led the team in kills with 15, Bird followed with ten, Riek had nine, Guy and Hellmann each had three and Peterson and Lorenz each had one. Lake and Peterson also had two service aces and Hellmann had one.
“Madysn played her best match all season. She has really developed these last two weeks and it was fun to see her put those skills to use. Lorenz stepped in and did a great job when we were struggling. Marki Lagerstrom served well for us. Lake had the most serves and played ver tough at the net. Bird dug well in the back and had some great kills up front and consistently steady serving. Jenna Beyrer and Schultz both had some great back row digs. And Hellmann came out swinging hard and calling for the ball,” explained Score of her varsity team.
Ending their high school volleyball career was Lake who in her senior season (minus two matches) had 188 kills, 23 service aces, 26 solo blocks, 22 assisted blocks and 157 digs. Hellmann is also a senior, who finished her final year (minus two matches) with 81 kills, 22 service aces, two solo blocks, nine assisted blocks and 144 digs.