Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hardin right hitter Imani Kindness takes a shot at Glendive’s Red Devils during a five-set match on Friday.

Lady Bulldogs overcome Red Devils’ improved defense

Hardin’s Lady Bulldogs faced an improved Glendive team Friday on the Red Devils’ home court during their opponents’ Senior Night. Earlier in October, the Ladies had defeated Glendive in three sets; this match took five.
“They came out playing really well and we came out not playing really well,” said Hardin Head Coach Tiffany Moullet. “They have a couple really good hitters and they’ve gotten a lot better on defense.”
According to Hardin middle hitter Mariah Simmons, her team needed to “mix it up” as far as where they aimed strikes. During the game, they kept going for the same locations and Glendive learned their targets.
Though the Bulldogs lost the first set 17-25, Moullet said her team has an ability to “bounce back” and persevere to victory. They took the second set 25-20, lost the third 22-25, won the fourth 25-23 and pulled it together in the fifth for a 15-9 finish.
“I liked how they ended the match,” Moullet said. “In the fifth set, they really came out fired up and they just took off.”
Simmons led the team in blocks with 3.5 of 7 total, libero Katie Murdock was the top player for digs with 35 of 89, outside hitter Ashley Uffelman struck the most kills with 14 of 45 total, and setter Shea Esp hit the most assists with 25 of 41 and served the most aces with 3 of 5.
As the team moves into divisionals starting Thursday, Nov. 3 in Laurel, Simmons intends to do her part for the team and remember to “keep bigger hands” so the ball doesn’t get past her.
In regards to her position, Simmons said, “The most important job, in my opinion, is blocking the ball and taking away a certain section.”
In a general sense, Moullet said, the team needs to perfect its “energy factor,” while playing under pressure and communicating.
“[It’s] the same thing we always seem to be working on,” she said. “Playing our best game when we step out on the court.”
The Ladies’ first match, scheduled for 1 p.m., will be against Livingston’s Park Rangers.