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By Missy Klatt
BOYCEVILLE — It was a steamy night in Boyceville as the hometown Bulldogs took on local rival, the Glenwood City Hilltoppers, in a best of five volleyball match last Thursday, September 19th. With a large crowd of fans on both sides, the Lady Dawgs beat the Lady Toppers in an exciting match, three games to two.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first set. However, the Toppers were fighting to stay in it with some good hits and blocks. The Toppers were playing much smarter that night, however, the Bulldogs had the edge in this set. With the score 17-11 in Boyceville’s favor, the Toppers took another timeout to try and stop the Bulldogs’ momentum. Unfortunately, some serving mistakes from the Toppers and some good blocks from the Bulldogs kept the game in Boyceville’s court. The final score for the first set was Bulldogs 25, Toppers 17.
In the second set, with the score tied at seven, the Toppers took the lead at 8-7. The Lady Dawgs then added two points for a 9-8 lead, however this was to be their last lead in the set as the Toppers took advantage of some Bulldog mistakes and went on to win the set 25-16.
Set number three was very closely contested in the beginning but then Boyceville caught fire and took a 14-6 lead followed by an 18-8 lead. The Lady Toppers weren’t out of it yet though as they fought their way back into the game, narrowing the gap to 11-18 then 20-24. However, the Bulldogs prevailed to take the third set 25-20.
With the Bulldogs leading 7-1 in the fourth set, the Toppers called a timeout and the tide began to turn. Once again, the Toppers fought their way back into the set. Soon they were down by just one point at 8-9. It wasn’t long before the set was tied at 12. The set remained close with neither team leading by more than one point until the Toppers finally took a two-point lead at 22-20. The Toppers were pumped up while the Bulldogs were struggling to get it together. A short time later, Yasmin Mendez got the kill for the Toppers giving them a 24-21 lead. She then served up a ball that the Bulldogs couldn’t return, giving the victory to the Toppers, 25-21 and a two sets all tie.
Set five started in a battle with the score tied at one, two, three and four. The Bulldogs then took a two-point lead 6-4. It was at this point that the Toppers thought they had scored a point and got the serve back when some confusion ensued on the court. Without going into a lot of detail, it took the referees, with questions/arguments from the coaches, nearly 15 minutes to settle the problem. When play resumed it was basically a redo with the ball going back to the Bulldogs. By this time the Toppers had lost their momentum and their energy just wasn’t the same. They kept it fairly close though with the score 7-8 and then 10-13, however, two points later Bulldog, Kady Grambow sealed the victory for the Dawgs with a kill. Bulldogs win the set 15-10 and the match 3-2.
After the match, Bulldog head coach, Keri Peterson said “It was a great win at home for our school and community during our Homecoming week. It was fun to play in front of a crowd of our fans and get the win. The girls pulled together when we struggled tonight and played as a team to pull out this win.”
Peterson conceded that they gave away too many points to the Toppers with too many serving errors. She also stated that they need to work on their passing off the serve and their digs.
“We need to play more fundamentally sound so we can convert more passes to kills, but we’re happy to get our first conference win of the season,” stated Peterson
As for Nicole Miller, the Hilltoppers’ head coach, she was happy with the improvement she saw from her girls as they played smart and kept fighting during the match. However she was really frustrated during the fifth set the way things worked out.
For the Lady Dawgs, Hannah Johnson led the team in kills with 12 followed by Kady Grambow with 9, Taylor Grambow with 7 and Chrissa Kersten with 5. Torrie Bland had 19 assists and Emma Ouellette 10. Hannah and Kady each had 10 digs and Chrissa added 7 more.
The Hilltopper’s Kristin Dayton, Delanie Fayerweather and Brandi Standaert all had over 95% serves over. Delaine led the team in assists.
Maddie Oehlke and Yasmin Mendez had the most digs for Glenwood City with Maddie at 17 and Yasmin at 12. The pair also led in kills with Yasmin having 10 and Maddie 8.
Boyceville was on the road Tuesday, September 24th when they headed to Buffalo country in Mondovi. They don’t play again until next Tuesday, October 1 when they host the Durand Panthers.
Meanwhile, Glenwood City hosted six-time defending conference champion Colfax last night, Tuesday, September 24, and will be in Elk Mound next Tuesday to open the month of October.