The Lady Bulldogs varsity volleyball team began their season with an impressive show of strength at the North Big Horn Tournament held at Rocky Mountain High School on Aug. 28 – 29. The girls proved themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, winning every match played during the entire two-day tournament.
“I was very happy with our overall performance over the weekend,” said Lady Bulldogs Coach Stormy Jameson. “This group really plays well together and has a good time on the court.”
Pool play on Friday included matches against Meeteetse, Cody, Tongue River and Burlington. The team took on Meteetsee, first winning both sets with relative ease, 25-11 and 25-13.
“Having four pool play games on Friday made for a long day in the gym, but it was good to get our first game jitters out against Meteetse,” said Jameson.
The girls got off to a rough start with the Cody Fillies, a fellow 3A team, losing their first set 26-24. They came back fighting hard to win the next two sets 25-18 and 25-21.
A bit weary from their battle with the Fillies, the girls got off to a rocky start again in their match with Tongue River, giving up the first set 25-21 to the Lady Eagles. Once warmed up, the girls were back in good form, winning the last two sets 25-11 and 25-18.
“Both against Cody and Tongue River we dug ourselves in holes that we were luckily able to dig out of,” said Jameson. “We had to up our level of play and the girls responded to that.”
The girls won their last match of the day against Burlington with relative ease, 25-16, 25-18,
“Burlington was solid but we had too many threats at the net that they couldn’t contain,” said Jameson.
The girls played in three matches on Saturday, starting off again with a match against Meeteetse, winning both sets with relative ease, 25-12 and 25-11.
In their second match of the day, an old opponent, Greybull, presented more of a challenge, but the Lady Bulldogs continued their winning streak, taking the Lady Buffs 25-18 and 26-24.
“Greybull was an old opponent from our 2A conference that always has the potential to beat us,” said Jameson.
The girls were up against Cody again in the championship match. As expected, the Lady Fillies came out fighting hard but fell to the Lady Bulldogs in a close first set 25-23. The Fillies continued to fight hard in the second set, winning 25-17, but were overcome by the Lady Bulldogs in the last set 15-11.
“After edging out Greybull, we had a rematch against Cody in the championship,” said Jameson. “It was pretty much back and forth for a while and in the third set we jumped out to a big lead and we were able to hold them off at the end.”
Jameson said she was pleased with the overall performance of the team, but, as always, there’s room for improvement.
“We still have several things we need to work on, but I’m happy with the effort and potential this team has,” said Jameson.
Stats from the tournament include: Mykelle Nichols, 39 kills, 66 digs and 14 aces; Karlie Keller, 45 kills, 76 digs and seven aces; Savanna Savage, 19 kills, 26 digs, 10 aces and 10 blocks; Kaitlyn Mickelson, 13 kills, 12 digs, five aces and three blocks; Mandi Jo Baxendale, 28 kills, 11 digs, one ace and eight blocks; Trysa Flood, two kills, 33 digs and six aces; Charri McArthur, seven kills, 32 digs, 14 aces, 99 assists and three blocks and Madison Harper 72 digs.
Next up, the girls will travel to Cody High School for the Wyoming-Montana Duals on Friday and Saturday. Play begins at noon on Friday, Sept. 4 and resumes at 9 a.m.
By Patti Carpenter