By Cara L. Dempski
The Boyceville volleyball squad had the opportunity to learn some of Colfax’s tricks before the two teams met in a showdown of conference unbeatens on the Vikings’ home court September 27. The Bulldogs had beaten the Vikings 2-1 three days earlier at the Cameron Invitational to restart a win streak that was broken earlier that day by the Fall Creek Crickets.
The streak stood until late Tuesday when the Vikings forced the Bulldogs to a full five sets before the Bulldogs lost a match point on a controversial call to end the game.
To be fair, there were occasions during the match when players on each side of the net questioned the official ruling on a play. Boyceville questioned a net violation that was subsequently awarded to Colfax, and the Vikings argued one of the Bulldog blockers tipped the ball before it landed out of bounds; the initial ruling was overturned, earning Colfax the point on the play.
Boyceville was hungry for a win September 29 when it met Elk Mound in the confines of its home gym. Despite dropping the first set 25-17, the Bulldogs easily handed the Mounders its second conference loss of the season by beating them 25-14, 25-12 and 25-16 in the following three sets.
With the start of the new win streak, the Bulldogs have a 17-3 record overall and moved to 4-1 in the Dunn-St. Croix, good for second place behind Colfax and Mondovi, who both remain undefeated in D-SC play.
Boyceville traveled to Glenwood City last night to meet the rival Hilltoppers and will stay on the road when it goes to Elmwood tomorrow, October 6. The Bulldogs will return to their home court October 11 to play Mondovi.
A pair of unblemished conference records were on the line September 27 when the Bulldogs faced the Vikings in the Colfax High School gym. Boyceville came into the match with a 3-0 record, one they shared with Mondovi, and a half game lead over 2-0 Colfax.
The Bulldogs pushed the Vikings hard the whole evening. Boyceville lost the first to the Vikings, 25-19, but then took the next two 25-17 and 25-22. Colfax battled hard to even the match in the fourth with their 25-21 win, before capping the match with a 16-14 win in the fifth.
“It was a battle,” Bulldog coach Corrie Roemhild said. “We had some really good plays and I thought we played scrappy, picking up a lot of their tips and roll shots.”
Madysn Riek drove in 15 kills to lead the team in attacks. She tied with Cassie Malean and Jaida Peterson on digs, with each girl providing 22 for the team. Riek tied with Hannah Guy with three aces apiece. Guy led the team in foiled attacks, taking credit for 37 of the team’s 143 digs, and put 10 attacks past the Vikings.
Senior Brooklyn Hellmann took a hard knock to the head when she hit the floor in the fourth, but it didn’t stop her from tallying 20 digs, an ace and a kill for the night. Malean provided six more kills and an ace, and Erica Sempf picked up four kills and five digs.
Morgan Kuhn and Mariah Drury put together 15 digs, with Kuhn recording 14 and Drury one.
Riek also led the team in blocks and assists, pulling in three solos and assisting on 10. Sempf and Kuhn, both of whom went up for three more solo blocks each, followed her. Sempf assisted on a further six, while Kuhn had one assist.
Malean was credited with two solo blocks and three assists, while Guy had one solo and two assists. Hellmann completed one block.
“We definitely had our chances in the fourth and fifth games to get it done,” Roemhild said, “Unfortunately some things just didn’t go our way.”
She added the loss would hopefully make the team more determined to work hard and improve with every practice and match.
Madysen Riek spiked down 17 attacks, Hannah Guy and Jaida Peterson took 13 digs each, and Brooklyn Hellmann served up four aces during the Bulldogs’ 3-1 home win against Elk Mound September 29.
Coach Roemhild said after the game the girls wanted the win over the Mounders badly, and their performance showed that.
“We started out a little slow, afraid to make mistakes,” she said of the Bulldogs 25-17 loss in the opening set. “But as the second game started rolling, so did our confidence.”
But Boyceville rebounded quickly for convincing wins in the next three sets ( 25-14, 25-12 and 25-16) to claim the win.
The Bulldogs may still have been feeling the sting of the loss to Colfax when Elk Mound came to town, making the Mounders the unlucky recipients of a game Boyceville definitely made the best of.
Hellmann and Morgan Kuhn put up 95 of the Bulldogs’ 108 total sets, and accounted for six serve aces and five kills on the night. Kuhn provided five digs, and Cassie Malean added five more while nailing six kills.
Erica Sempf accounted for eight kills and two digs, while Guy added two kills. Kuhn provided the team with five digs.
Roemhild verbalized pride in her team after the win.
“We had a great plan and we followed through with it,” she said.