Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tiffany Moullet

Lady Bulldogs fight in Border Wars

Volleyball team reveals its powerful offense, problematic defense
The Lady Bulldog volleyball team traveled to Cody, Wyo. Labor Day weekend to test their skills on their neighbor to the south in Border Wars. In these competitions, the Lady Bulldogs compete against Wyoming players before Eastern A conference games start, and before rankings between Hardin High School and their fellow Montana teams begin to solidify.
In their first two games Friday, Hardin defeated Wyoming teams from Thermopolis and Powell. The Lady Bulldogs took three of the four sets against Thermopolis, scoring 25-13, 25-16, 26-28 and 25-15. They then took all three sets against Powell with scores of 30-28, 25-23 and 25-21.
One of the Lady Bulldogs’ main assets, according to Head Coach Tiffany Moullet, is the ability to dish out a strong offense. This offense is reinforced by hitters like Keaunna Mason and Elissa Lind, who made 84 of the team’s 152 kills that weekend – 46 and 38 respectively.
“Our offense definitely made us stand out at the tournament,” she said. “I know that other teams were intimidated by our ability to hit the ball.”
Lind, who with Mason is one of the team’s four captains, was quick to point out that, in volleyball, killing isn’t done in a vacuum. The team’s back row and setters have the subjectively less flashy job of passing the ball to lock hitters into the optimal position to strike. 
The team had 126 assists for the weekend, of which Team Captain Kourtney Chavez passed 61, followed by Shea Esp with 41.
This assistance ties into something Lind called “team chemistry,” which she said worked quite well during the games.
“We all clicked, we all did what we were supposed to do,” she said. “[We didn’t] have to pick up anyone else’s slack.”
But the following day…
“On the opposite end, we struggled defensively,” Moullet said, “and that’s what I told them lost us those games.”
Saturday was a bust, though the Lady Bulldogs managed to drag the games with the Wyoming teams of Cody and Jackson through all five sets. The scores for the Lady Bulldogs in the Cody competition were 29-31, 16-25, 25-21, 25-12 and 9-15; the Jackson scores were 19-25, 25-20, 26-24, 23-25 and 12-15. In the last game – the toughest of the five, according to Moullet – Hardin lost all three sets to the Wyoming team from Worland: 18-25, 14-25 and 8-25.
At present, the team is focusing on defense.
“That’s pretty much all we’re doing today at Transformation Tuesdays,” Moullet said as the players practiced nearby. “It’s a lot of defensive work, where we practice hustling after the ball and not letting the ball hit the floor – ever.”
The weekend stats for Hardin include 30 aces – 7 by Mason, and 6 by both Lind and Esp; 25 blocks – 13 by Mason; and 107 digs – 25 by Lind and 22 by Sarah Edgar. 
The Lady Bulldogs will be playing against the Laurel Locomotives on Thursday, Sept. 10 starting at 4:15 p.m., followed by a home game against Sidney’s Lady Eagles starting at 4 p.m. the following Tuesday.