Saturday, February 24, 2018

Middle hitter Aubrey Meiwald practices a serve and roll Tuesday afternoon in the Hardin High School gymnasium.

Hardin volleyball lineup starting out strong

The 2016 volleyball season is starting up at Hardin High School and Head Coach Tiffany Moullet says the newer recruits are giving the five returning players a “run for their money.”  There are 31 players in all, and they will be competing this weekend at the Tip-Off in Lewistown.
The Lady Bulldogs have three teams in their repertoire: the C-squad, junior varsity and varsity. According to Moullet, the C-squad in particular has the potential to go undefeated.
“The level of competition has increased within our own team,” she said as players did their warm-up exercises in the nearby gym. “It’s creating really good, competitive practices.”
Last year, the Ladies were ranked at the top of the Eastern A conference until they were knocked from their perch in October 2015 by Billing’s Central’s Lady Rams. They made it to state, but lost the first two games to Billings Central and Corvallis.
Despite not placing that year, players at the time were optimistic in regards to the team’s future. “Hardin just needed that one team to go, that one team to get the ball rolling,” said Elissa Lind, then an outside hitter for the Ladies. “I think we were definitely the right team to do that.”
At present, Moullet wants to follow through on last year’s momentum – one of the major factors in volleyball – and lead the three teams to “winning seasons.” Her biggest goal is for the varsity to take the top spot in the Eastern A conference.
To prepare over the summer, they’ve participated in camps and open gyms, and worked on improving communication. The Ladies have a “super tall net,” according to outside hitter Ashley Uffelman, meaning the team as a whole stands higher off the ground than the usual players.
“Our blockers,” she said, “we’re stacked.”
Middle hitter Aubrey Meiwald said, currently, the team needs to become a more cohesive unit, as when they don’t talk, they “get out of the groove.” This means the potential for missed digs, spikes and aces.
In the upcoming season, Uffelman and Meiwald want to help bring the team closer and some high energy wouldn’t hurt.
“High energy!” Uffelman said. “I love that part.”