By Amber Hayden
COLFAX – The Bulldogs volleyball team has struggled all season with trying to find an upper hand against their opponents, and now Boyceville finds themselves at a crossroads as Coach Keri Peterson and her Bulldogs look at a record of 5-15.
“This was a tough week to be trying anything new with Colfax and Elk Mound on the schedule, but we were forced to and hopefully it pays off down the road,” coach Peterson commented.
Boyceville took to the road against Colfax, returned home for a match against Elk Mound and found themselves trekking to Cameron for a pool play invitational.
With zero blocks against a strong hitting team, the Bulldogs walked away from Colfax with a loss in three sets September 18 with scores of 15-25, 15-25 and 19-25.
According to coach Keri Peterson, if the Bulldogs had a chance to get their hands on the ball and a block, then her players in the back row could have had a better chance at digging some of Colfax’s hits.
“We knew this would be a tough game for us. Not only because Colfax is well-coached, but because we are readjusting our lineup with Taylor Grambow being out,” stated coach Peterson.
Working hard to keep the ball from Colfax libero Alyssa Dachel during serves, Boyceville had six aces as a team with Chrissa Kersten leading the way with three.
Tyra Kostman led the Bulldogs on attack with seven kills and Jaida Peterson added on five more. Leading with nine assists was Boyceville player Amber Retzloff.
While Emma Bygd led the defense with eleven digs, Jaida Peterson contributed eight more and Hannah Johnson tacked on another six.
“We sent too many free balls over and didn’t get Colfax out of the system enough. We have to minimize our hitting errors too if we are going to be successful,” explained Peterson.
The Bulldogs faced up against a tough Mounders’ team, and strong middle Morgan Radtke on September 20 with a loss in three straight with scores of 25-18, 25-13 and 25-12.
“Our first set was one of our stronger showings this season,” explained coach Peterson, “We played good defense and got our offense going.”
Jaida Peterson led the Bulldogs offense with ten kills, Tyra Kostman tacked on another five and Hannah Johnson contributed four more.
The Boyceville defense was led by Johnson and Alyx Bloom with six digs a piece with Jaida Peterson adding in four more.
“One of our goals was to not overpass the ball and give Elk Mound’s middle, Radtke, any opportunity at easy kills,” explained coach Peterson, “and I think we did a pretty good job at minimizing those errors.”
With quite a few games left in the conference the Bulldogs headed back to the gym in order to improve as a team.
Boyceville traveled to Cameron for a pool play invitational on Saturday September 22 and faced up against Colfax, Cameron, Fall Creek, Barron and Prairie Farm.
“We started the day out sluggish and losing to Colfax, but played well against Cameron and Prairie Farm.”
The Bulldogs faced up against the Colfax Vikings for the second time in less than a week, losing to the returning Dunn-St. Croix champions for a second time with scores of 12-25 and 15-25.
Hannah Johnson and Tyra Kostman each served up one ace against the Vikings, Johnson also had six digs against Colfax during the match up.
The Bulldogs took a close loss against the Cameron Comets losing 20-25 and 19-25, trying out new techniques in the line up and having some of the girls play in new spots.
“We played right along with Cameron,” stated coach Peterson, “we tried some of the girls in new spots to see what changes we could handle going forward in conference play.”
Leading the Bulldogs in kills against Cameron was Tyra Kostman with seven, Jaida Peterson contributed four more and Alyx Bloom put down another three kills.
Emma Bygd led the Boyceville defense with nine digs and Amber Retzloff added eight digs and 11 assists to her Bulldogs career.
Boyceville also fell to Barron and Fall Creek in two sets, against Prairie Farm the Bulldogs took the Panthers to three sets before losing the last set 7-15.
The Bulldogs traveled to Elmwood September 25 to take on the Raiders in a conference match, Boyceville returns home on September 27 to take on the Glenwood City Hilltoppers.