By Cara L. Dempski
What happens when your winning streak is broken?
Well, if you’re the Boyceville volleyball team you simply begin a new one.
After seeing their seven-game win streak come to an end in a two-set loss to Fall Creek at the Cameron Invitational this past Saturday, the Bulldogs started a new one by trumping Prairie Farm, Colfax and host Cameron in the three subsequent matches to finish 3-1 in the September 24 Invitational.
Ironically, the Crickets gave the Bulldogs, now 16-2 overall, their only other loss this season back on the September first.
The talented and senior-led Bulldog team rode a wave of success into Cameron having won 19 of its previous 21 sets over that seven-match win streak including a home sweep of Durand last Tuesday and a thrilling 3-1 road victory in Spring two days later.
The conference wins over Durand and Spring Valley pushed Boyceville to a 3-0 start and first-place standing in the Dunn-St. Croix – honors they currently share with Mondovi.
The Bulldogs took down the Panthers in three sets winning 25-17, 25-16 and 25-19 September 20 to stay perfect on their home floor.
The September 22 match in Spring Valley was a bit more exciting to say the least. After dropping the opening set 25-17 to the Cardinals, Boyceville rallied to win the next three sets – all by two points – and the match. After winning the second set 26-24, the Bulldogs overcame a 19-11 deficit to win the third set 25-23 and prevailed 33-31 in a marathon fourth set to take home a big victory.
The Bulldogs’ path does not get any easier as it plays two of its next three matches on the road starting last evening in Colfax were they faced a 2-0 Vikings squad. Boyceville will host Elk Mound this Thursday, September 29 before heading on the road again on October 4 for a conference contest in Elmwood.
The Bulldogs continued their winning streak on September 20, beating the Durand Panthers 3-0 with scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-19 at home.
“It was great being back in our gym again after playing away for over two weeks,” coach Corrie Roemhild said. “It’s always nice to have the hometown crowd.”
Sophomore libero Jaida Peterson led the team in serve aces, taking credit for three unanswered serves. Cassie Malean and Maddy Riek each grabbed another two aces, and Brooklyn Hellmann and Morgan Kuhn each took an ace apiece.
Riek led the team with 15 kills. The next two to come close were Hannah Guy and Erica Sempf, both of whom chalked six kills onto their respective records. Malean shot down five, Kuhn had two kills, and Hellmann and Peterson each nabbed one.
Kuhn took top honors, providing 17 assists, and Hellmann put up 10 more to account for 27 of the team’s total 29. The last two belonged to Malean and Riek.
Defensively, Peterson is credited with 22 of the team’s 81 digs. Riek added her 20 to the total, and Malean put up 16 more. Guy took 13 digs, Kuhn had four, and Sempf and Hellmann evenly split the final six.
Sempf and Riek topped the team statistics for assists. Sempf provided four solo blocks and six block assists, while Riek had three solo and five assists. Kuhn put up a solo block and had a block assist, and Guy, Malean and Hellmann all assisted on a further 10 blocks.
Roemhild said “Some really good plays occurred throughout the night.”
She added the team was also very aware of the areas they need to work on for upcoming matches.
Boyceville traveled to Spring Valley looking improve to 3-0 in conference action. After the Bulldogs dropped the first set, they rallied to win the next three sets for the match victory.
Coach Roemhild said the match was hard-fought, and girls really worked hard the last three games.
“They never gave up,” she stated.
The Cardinals took the first match 25-17, but after that the wins belonged to Boyceville. The Bulldogs finished off Spring Valley 26-24, 25-23, and 33-31.
Senior Madysn Riek led the team in stats, reeling in five aces, 17 kills and 14 digs. Erica Sempf, another senior, drilled in 11 kills and took credit for three digs. Cassie Malean and Hannah Guy tied for digs, picking up 22 between them. Malean also nailed seven kills, while Guy put down five.
Jaida Peterson, the team’s sophomore libero, put together two serve aces for the night and provided strong defense, with 10 digs for the match. Morgan Kuhn and Brooklyn Hellmann also turned back 16 attacks, with each taking credit for eight digs.
Hellmann also logged three aces and 20 assists, and Kuhn added two more aces and 16 assists. Kuhn set down three kills in the match.
Riek led the team in blocks, recording 12 for the night (two solo, 10 assist). Sempf added two more solo blocks and assisted on another eight. Kuhn picked up another two solo and assisted on three blocks. Malean had one solo block and two assists.
Guy and Hellmann each picked up one more solo block each.
Roemhild verbalized pride in the team after the game.
“Although we had times of confusion and frustration, we really showed what it looks like to be true teammates and how to fight for every single point,” she said.
Boyceville dropped their first match in over three weeks losing 1-2 to the Fall Creek Crickets to open the Cameron Invitational on September 24. But the Bulldogs bounced back to win the following three matches against Prairie Farm, Colfax and Cameron.
The Bulldogs lost their first set against the Crickets 26-24 before coming back to take the second 25-13. They dropped the final set 15-6. It was the locals first loss since September 1 when Fall Creek knocked them off 2 sets to none.
Cassie Malean and Madysn Riek each landed five of the teams 19 total kills, while Erica Sempf took credit for another four. Morgan Kuhn completed three attacks, and Hannah Guy put down another two points.
Senior Brooklyn Hellmann led the team in assists with 53 sets and took credit for three serve aces. Kuhn and Riek put up three more aces apiece, and Guy landed another two. Kuhn also led the team defensively against Fall Creek, taking seven of the team’s 31 digs. Hellmann, Guy, Malean, Riek and Jaida Peterson accounted for the remaining digs.
Up next for Boyceville was the Panther team for Prairie Farm. The Bulldogs swept the Panthers 2-0 with sets scoring 25-19 and 25-13.
Riek took top honors for kills, nailing eight of the team’s 17 to the floor. Malean and Sempf tied with three scoring attacks apiece, and Guy and Kuhn each tagged one kill. Hellmann led the ace points for Boyceville, taking credit for five unanswered serves. Peterson and Kuhn each added two more, and Malean chalked up one ace in the match.
Defensively, Peterson foiled three attacks, while Guy and Kuhn each took one dig each.
Boyceville then met the Colfax Vikings in the first of two-matchups between the two before the end of September. Colfax took the first set 25-23 before dropping the second and third 25-17 and 15-11 to give Boyceville the win.
Riek and Guy fired down over half of the Bulldogs’ kills, taking credit for 15 of the team’s 23 scoring attacks. Rounding out the kill squad were Malean, Sempf, Kuhn and Peterson, who comprised the final eight kills.
Peterson served to four-unanswered points to lead the Bulldogs in the match, and she recorded five digs. Hellmann, Kuhn and Riek each chalked up two aces apiece, and Guy made the team ace total 11 with her single unanswered serve.
Kuhn, Malean and Hellmann provided the rest of Boyceville’s digs, with Kuhn taking two while Hellmann and Malean took one each.
The last team the Bulldogs took on was the Cameron Comets. Boyceville again swept the match, beating their opponents 25-19 and 25-23.
Guy, Sempf and Riek tied with six apiece for kills, accounting for 18 of 21 successful attacks. The remaining three kills went to Malean, with two, and Hellmann, who had one.
Unanswered serves appeared hard to come by against Cameron, as the Bulldogs landed only six aces. Kuhn and Rieck logged two each, while Hellmann and Peterson each took credit for one.
Hellmann and Riek led the team in attack defense with Riek taking seven digs to Hellmann’s six. Kuhn, Guy and Malean are credited with five more digs apiece, and Peterson turned back four attacks.