Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lady Bulldog hitter Keaunna Mason goes for a mid-air block. Despite their fourth place ranking in the Eastern A division, Glendive kept up with the Lady Bulldogs, ranked second, during what Head Coach Tiffany Moullet said was one of Hardin’s best games.Lady Bulldog setter Mikayla Jefferson tips the ball over Glendive’s net during last Thursday’s competition.

Lady Bulldogs gain control of three games, boost confidence level

The fourth set, they gave up, we went for it and just kind of throttled them.” — Head Coach Tiffany Moullet on Saturday’s game against Lewistown
The Lady Bulldog volleyball team have knocked out another three games, defeating Glendive last Thursday, and Lewistown and Livingston on Saturday. While only Glendive was in the Ladies’ Eastern A conference – Lewistown and Livingston are in Central A – Head Coach Tiffany Moullet said the wins brought them back on track following their Oct. 3 loss to Billings Central.
According to Moullet, Lewistown was the main team to beat as the Ladies were defeated by them last month in a problematic away game.
“That was a huge win for us,” she said. “It didn’t do anything for our standings, it didn’t do anything for our record, but it was a confidence booster.”
The Ladies started the Lewistown game flat-footed, falling behind in the first set 17-25. Middle hitter Shelby Uffelman said, from the court, it seemed like Lewistown picked up and capitalized on the Ladies’ lack of confidence at the outset.
Once Lewistown’s confidence got up, Shelby said, “things just kind of spiraled.”
Fortunately for Hardin, they gained traction in the second set and went on to win the next three with scores of 30-28, 27-25 and 25-12.
“The first set was weird and, actually, the next two sets were kind of weird,” Moullet said. “We were down in the second set, I think, 14-7 and came back and won it. The next two sets…were close. The fourth set, they gave up, we went for it and just kind of throttled them.”
Ashley Uffelman earned the most kills with 15 of 53 total, Keaunna Mason checked Lewistown with 6 of the team’s 7 blocks, Kourtney Chavez was the greatest source of assists and aces with 45 of 49 and 2 of 4 respectively, and Sarah Edgar hit the most digs with 25 of 91.
Following the Lewistown competition was a second game against Livingston. While Moullet considers the Livingston team easier to beat than Lewistown’s, the second game went longer than expected after the Ladies followed wins in the first two sets by losing the third and fourth.
“It was such a bad game. Oh my gosh, I wanted to leave,” Moullet said. “If you’ve won the first two sets, the third set’s the hardest, because of the mental aspect of the game. Some girls start relaxing, other girls start trying too hard and it’s just a bad mashup of just mistake after mistake.”
The fifth set, she said, the Ladies ultimately “creamed them” for final scores of 25-20, 25-18, 15-25, 21-25 and 15-4.
Elissa Lind and Mason earned the most kills that game with 11 and 10 respectively of 39 total, Mason and Shelby deflected the ball for the most blocks at 4 and 3 of 12 respectively, Chavez took the most assists and aces with 33 of 38 and 4 of 7 respectively, and Edgar hit the most digs with 17 of 59.
Cycling back to last Thursday, Shelby said Glendive, ranked fourth in Eastern A to Hardin’s second, played unexpectedly well, despite the Ladies going at them in one of their best games.
“I expected them to not be as good as they were for being at the bottom of our conference,” she said, “but they were surprisingly good.”
Moullet said Glendive had three strong hitters who the Ladies managed to shut down in order to score points. In particular, Moullet mentioned they were able to deflect hits from Glendive’s outside hitter, Marenah Crockett, who led her team that game in kills, blocks and digs.
“She started getting really frustrated, so that was to our advantage,” Moullet said.
Lind and Mason led the team in kills with 8 each of 34 total, Shelby deflected the most blocks at 2 of 5, Chavez set up the most assists with 24 of 26, Edgar and Shelby scored the most aces with 6 and 5 respectively, and Edgar hit the most digs with 15 of 47.
The Ladies will be playing in Sidney at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 followed by a home game against Billings Central at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17.