Friday, February 23, 2018

Arena Plenty, opposite hitter for Hardin, prepares to return a block from Glendive during a home game on Saturday.

Lady Bulldogs regroup from first Eastern A conference loss, defeat Glendive

The Lady Bulldog volleyball suffered their first Eastern A conference loss in an away game last Thursday with the Billings Central Rams – a loss that, according to Hardin outside and middle hitter Demi Uffelman, wasn’t warranted.
While Central coach Kylie Reitz told the Billings Gazette that her team’s intentional contacts allowed the Rams to “run on all cylinders” for the game, Uffelman believed Hardin wasn’t nearly as present. Central’s Lady Rams ran away with the game in three sets, keeping the Ladies to single digits for two with scores of 25-8, 25-12 and 25-9.
“We did not play very well at all,” Uffelman said. “We couldn’t use our hitters at all because our passes weren’t there.”
The Ladies struggled in Saturday’s home game with Glendive’s Lady Red Devils, Uffelman continued, but put in a better performance, taking a victory in four sets: 25-23, 17-25, 25-21 and 25-19.
Glendive was effective defensively, Uffelman said, though she believes “we shut down their hitters pretty well.” She likened the team to the Miles City Cowgirls – who the Ladies beat the previous week in four sets – only this time with a stronger defense.
Hardin hitters took advantage of open straight shots during the game, she said, rather than their usual angled ones.
“We definitely got our hitters more involved during the Glendive game,” Uffelman said. “We served more aggressively, so we got more free balls handed over to us. We passed better, we got our feet better, we communicated better.”
In future matches with Central, Uffelman said, the Ladies will likewise need to find gaps in the Rams’ defense. 
Reitz told the Gazette that “Hardin is one of the hardest-working teams we play.” Uffelman believes that, in future games, the Ladies can use their work ethic to their advantage.
“They have a lot of their spots covered,” Uffelman said of Central. “We need to work on hitting those spots where they’re not.”
Hardin will be playing their homecoming volleyball game against Fergus on Thursday, Sept. 21.
Billings Central def. Hardin: 25-8, 25-12, 25-9
Assists: 11 – Shea Esp 10; Kills: 12 – Demi Uffelman 4; Blocks: 2; Aces: 1 – Katie Murdock 1; Digs: 45 – Esp and Uffelman 8
Hardin def. Glendive: 25-23, 17-25, 25-21, 25-19
Assists: 38 – Shea Esp 34; Kills: 41 – Mariah Simmons and Demi Uffelman 10; Blocks: 8 – Simmons 6; Aces: 7 – Simmons and Shaunita Nomee 2; Digs: 67 – Katie Murdock 18 and Esp 12