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By Missy Klatt
This past week the Lady Bulldog volleyball team played two matches against the Mounders of Elk Mound to close out the 2020 season. Due to COVID and the way the volleyball schedule was modified this year, the Bulldogs and Mounders were able to play each other because they were both knocked out of the WIAA Regional competition the previous week.
The Bulldogs traveled to Elk Mound on Tuesday, October 27th where they lost three sets to zero. Then on Thursday, the Mounders came to town where they again won, this time three sets to one.
Boyceville finished the season 1-10.
“Tough week on the Bulldogs. It is always tough to come out and play games when you know that they don’t ‘mean anything’ after Regionals. So proud that they all still wanted to play,” commented Boyceville head coach Kacey Lane.
The first set on Tuesday was fairly close, with the Dawgs only losing by two points, 23-25. However, the Lady Dawgs couldn’t keep pace with the hard-hitting Mounders and came up short in the following two sets; 17-25 and 16-25.
Offensively for the night, Ella Holden led in kills with ten with Libby Bygd right behind with nine. Assisting the ladies were Kady Grambow, Chesney Leslie and Ava Olson, each with six set assists.
Chrissa Kersten led the defense with ten digs. At the net it was Bygd with one solo and two block assists.
On Thursday, it looked like the Mounders were ready to annihilate the Bulldogs when they jumped out to an 8-0 lead with the Lady Dawgs struggling with their serve reception. However, the Bulldogs weren’t going down without a fight and Chesney Leslie earned the first Bulldog point of the evening when she was able to beat the Mounder block. Shortly after, Lacota Brown earned another Bulldog point with an off-speed kill.
It was a long road to hoe but the Dawgs dug in and began to make up some ground on the Mounders with some nice hits from Kady Grambow and Ella Holden and some smart play at the net from Leslie.
With the Mounders leading 23-15, the Bulldogs went on a six-point run that included kills from Holden and Grambow and an ace from Ava Olson. With the Mounder lead cut to two, they took a timeout. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Mounders regrouped during the timeout and they came back with two big kills to win the set 25-21.
In set two, the Bulldogs had the early lead at 9-2, thanks in part to the serving of Ava Olson. As play continued, the Bulldogs led 12-6 with some nice play at the net from Libby Bygd. The Mounders then had some nice net play of their own and soon had the set tied at 16 with a block kill. The Lady Dawgs then took advantage of some Mounder errors to take a 20-18 lead. This was followed by a tip kill and an ace forcing the Mounders to take a timeout with the score, Bulldogs 22, Mounders 18. As play continued, the Mounders were still struggling with errors and the Bulldogs went on to win 25-22.
In the third set, the Mounders took the early lead and kept it for the whole set.
The Bulldogs pulled to within four points of the lead several times but couldn’t get any closer until Jensine Boesl came up with a “push” kill to the back row to make the score 19-22, trailing the Mounders by three. Unfortunately, that was the last Bulldog point as the Mounders went on to win 25-19.
The lead in the fourth set was back and forth most of the time, where the majority of the points were coming from errors rather than earned points for both teams. However, late in the set the Mounders had the edge and were leading 22-17 when Ella Holden got hot and scored three points in a row for the Bulldogs with a tip kill and two hitting kills compelling the Mounders to take a timeout. Seems the timeout was what the Mounders needed as they got a kill and served up two aces to finish off the set at 25-20 and the match 3-1.
Coach Lane remarked, “In the end like most games we missed too many serves. Giving those points are major and it will come down to each set with just a minor difference of points. Some positive things I saw was when we dug ourselves a hole we tried to get out and we fought point for point. We would come close but couldn’t seal the deal at the end.”
Holden and Bygd led in kills for the evening with twelve and ten, respectively while Grambow and Olson led in set assists with thirteen and ten, respectively.
On defense, it was Chrissa Kersten with fourteen digs followed by Mya Lagerstrom with eight. At the net Bygd had one solo block and two two-block assists. Leslie had one of each and Grambow had two block assists.
A few comments from Coach Lane as she sums up the season, “What a season it has been the ups and downs! What an emotional roller coaster. I would like to thank the parents for everything they did this season. From coming to all the games, making sure to get their daughters to the gym and pick up their athlete from practices and I can’t forget the smelly laundry loads you had to do too. Also thank you for trusting your daughters with the coaching staff. If we didn’t have your support we wouldn’t have a season. Thank you SENIORS for what you brought to the program. Your passion and dedication did not go unnoticed and we will miss each and every one of you! Thank you underclassmen for working hard and coming in and out each day giving your best. Do not lose that!!”
“Our W and L columns weren’t nearly as close as what a coach or players would want but sometimes we need to put that to the side and understand the main purpose of high school sports. These kids learned so many transferable skills that they can use to years to come. The bond they built will not be forgotten and will be appreciated later. Fans —> do not give up on us. Next season will come up on us real quick. We are hoping for summer work to fine tune our skills and build another bond that will not be forgotten. Watch out Dunn St. Croix the Bulldogs will be showing new tricks next year,” concluded Coach Lane.