By Cara L. Dempski
The Bulldog volleyball team kept up its scrappy, “make ‘em earn every point” style of play with a pair of conference matchups last week.
Their coach would likely be happy if they could maintain that style all the way through to the end of each set they play.
[emember_protected] “We continue to struggle with closing the set,” head coach Keri Peterson noted. “We play good enough to stay close to the teams until about 18 points, and then we just can’t finish the set for a win.”
Boyceville headed to Spring Valley September 19 for a battle with the Cardinals, and lost the first two sets before picking up a win in the third only to drop the fourth for the 3-1 loss.
The Bulldogs returned to their home court September 21 to meet one of last season’s Dunn-St. Croix co-champions, Colfax. The Vikings were likely surprised by the Bulldogs, who raced out of the gate in the first two sets to build leads, but settled in and ground down the home team to hand Boyceville a 3-0 loss.
The Lady Bulldogs finished the week at a Cameron tournament. Limited information was available regarding the Cameron Invitational prior to press time. Online records indicate the Boyceville girls’ were bested 2-1 by both Cameron and Colfax, and Fall Creek 2-0. No information was available regarding the match with Rice Lake.
The Bulldogs are now 5-13 overall, and have an 0-3 record in the D-SC. They faced the Mounders in Elk Mound September 26, and are scheduled to host Elmwood September 28 before going to Glenwood City October 3 for a battle with the Hilltoppers.
Serving kept the Bulldogs in their September 19 match at Spring Valley, but even a lack of service and hitting errors could not get the Boyceville squad to close the circle on a set, to the frustration of coach Keri Peterson.
“We were able to get on some serving runs that kept us in the game, which is an improvement,” the Bulldog coach explained. “Consistent hitting from seniors Mariah Drury and Haley Wold was important tonight; both made very few hitting errors.”
But the Boyceville volleyball team still could not close the deal on the Cardinals, falling to Spring Valley 3-1 with scores of 18-25, 18-25, 25-22 and 19-25.
The Bulldogs logged 34 kills against the Cards, with Hannah Johnson taking credit for eight, Drury logging seven, Taylor Grambow recording six, and Wold picking up five. Drury also provided 18 scoring assists, while Amber Retzloff set up another 10.
Junior Jaida Peterson led the team with five serving aces, while Grambow and Drury provided a trio of blocks each.
Boyceville knew Colfax was a tough team going into their September 21 matchup at home, and the main goal was to limit serving and blocking errors to mitigate the Vikings’ attack.
“We didn’t want to give them easy points,” Peterson said. “We played scrappy and competitive to the final point. Our blockers worked their tails off to help slow down Colfax’s strong attacks.”
The Bulldogs’ coach said after the game she was very proud of the team’s effort against Colfax, despite the 3-0 loss, because they took great digs to keep rallies alive, and logged only three serving errors in the match.
Drury, Grambow and Johnson each logged four kills in the match, with Drury also recording nine assists and Retzloff setting up four. Jaida Peterson led the team with 15 digs and three aces, while Grambow logged a trio of blocks and Drury picked up a pair.
While there were no individual statistics available for the Cameron matches, online records do show the Bulldogs managed to take a game away from two different teams in the September 23 tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs lost the first set against Cameron 25-13, before snagging a 25-21 win in the second to force a third set. They succumbed to the Comets with a 15-6 loss in the third.
Boyceville played the Colfax Vikings for the second time in three days at the tournament. They fought hard in the first set, but eventually suffered a 26-24 loss before coming back to take the second 25-22. The Bulldogs then dropped the match in the third with a 15-6 loss.
The Crickets scraped past the Bulldogs in just two sets, defeating Boyceville 25-20 in the first and 25-19 in the second for the win. [/emember_protected]