Renegades, Huskies fall at divisionals
The Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades put up quite a fight last week in Laurel.
In the end, though, the team fell short in the divisional tournament, failing to punch a ticket to state.
The Renegades began divisionals with a close match against the Harlowton Engineers.
RPR began the first game on a 5-1 streak, but Harlow responded, and after keeping it close, the Engineers pulled ahead for a 25-18 win.
The second game was a battle, with the two teams tying the score six times. The Renegades scored four unanswered points to win 25-21.
RPR and Harlow went back and forth in the third game as well, with neither team maintaining the lead for a majority of the game. After the score was tied at 17, the Engineers began to roll, ending the game at 25-20.
The Renegades finally found their groove and created some momentum in the fourth game, putting up 25 points to Harlow’s 15 to force a game five.
In the fifth game, RPR maintained a slight lead, fighting through long volleys. The Renegades came out victorious with a score of 15-12.
Senior Destiny Ayers put down an impressive 21 kills, in addition to two blocks. Mercedes Hoff, a junior, led the team with four aces and 16 digs. Freshman Abby Schladweiler also contributed to the 57 total team digs, adding 14 of her own. The Renegades’ assists were split between senior Nynah Bryant, with 19, and junior Jocelyn Ott, with 18.
Thursday afternoon’s victory over Harlow sent RPR to the Thursday night game to face the 5C first seed Roy-Winifred Outlaws.
The Renegades came out with an intensity unmatched by the Outlaws, breezing through the first two sets, winning 25-18 and 25-12.
All RPR had to do was close out the third set, but the Renegades’ eighth set of the day began to take a toll.
They started the set strong, at one point up 13-8. The Outlaws didn’t give up, though, out-scoring the Renegades 5-2 to tie the game at 15. The RPR players began to look exhausted, and even though they kept the game close, Roy-Winifred edged ahead to win 28-26.
The win gave the Outlaws some renewed energy, and the two teams battled back and forth for two more games. Roy-Winifred came out on top in each by the slimmest of margins, winning 25-23 and 15-13.
Sophomore Carlee Blodgett had a great game, leading the team with 16 digs, while also putting up 12 kills and the team’s only block. Ayers led with 15 kills, and Bryant had 23 assists. Hoff earned three aces.
The loss bumped the Renegades down to the losers’ bracket, setting up a loser-out game against the 5C second seed Grass Range-Winnett Rangers.
The Renegades were not going to go down easily. The two teams played tough, with RPR winning the first and fourth games 27-25 and 25-13, respectively, and Grass Range-Winnett winning the second and third games 25-11 and 27-25, respectively.
Game five was tight, just like the rest of the match. The Rangers edged out the Renegades with a 17-15 victory.
In her final game as a Renegade, Ayers put up 22 of the team’s 44 kills; Blodgett had 15 kills. Ayers and Bryant each put up two aces. The team leaders for digs were Hoff, with 14, and Schladweiler, with 11. The Renegades had 42 assists, split between Ott (25) and Bryant (17).
The loss ended RPR’s season with a 21-13 record.
Coach Teresa Bare described the divisional tournament as a “great experience for the Renegades.”
She and Assistant Coach Shae Bruursema feel that the team was so successful because they peaked at tourney time – the goal of almost every team at the beginning of the season.
“We are hoping to use this experience to excite the players to look forward to next season and to take this excitement with them as they begin the basketball season,” Bare said.
Absarokee faced Roy-Winifred to begin the team’s tournament outing on Thursday afternoon.
As the 4C fourth seed playing the 5C first seed, the Huskies faced a tough match.
In the first game, the Outlaws came out strong. Even though Absarokee out-scored Roy-Winifred 6-2 to bring the score within two points mid-way through the game, the Outlaws cruised to a 25-18 win.
Game two was much closer. Each time Roy-Winifred would begin to pull away, Absarokee would come back, keeping the score close. Close was not good enough, however, and the Huskies fell 25-23.
The third game belonged to the Outlaws. The first few points were tight, but after a tied score at 8, Roy-Winifred took control, out-scoring Absarokee 17-4 for the 25-12 victory.
The Huskies’ 50 digs were led by senior Hana Kelly and sophomore Kaiya Holmquist with 11 each. Holmquist also earned the team’s only ace. Sophomore Kennedy Ekwortzel had five kills, and senior Emma LaMoure led with four assists. The team’s two blocks were put up by junior Mallorey Sheppard and senior Rebecka Lester.
With the loss to Roy-Winifred, Absarokee found itself in a loser-out game on Friday afternoon against Harlowton.
The Huskies worked hard and kept the sets close, but the Engineers proved to be too much – Absarokee fell in three sets, cutting short the Huskies’ trip to divisionals.
LaMoure had a good final performance as a Husky, leading the team in aces (4), assists (3), and digs. Holmquist also had three assists, as well as two blocks. Sheppard put up three kills.
Absarokee ends the season with a 14-19 record.
SOUTHERN DIVISION REPS
The Bridger Scouts won the southern divisional tournament, and Roy-Winifred finished in second place. Both teams will advance to the state tournament in Bozeman this week.
- RPR def. Harlowton: 18-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-15, 15-12
- Roy-Winifred def. RPR: 18-25, 12-25, 28-26, 25-23, 15-13
- Grass Range-Winnett def. RPR: 25-27, 25-11, 27-25, 13-25, 17-15
- Roy-Winifred def. Absarokee: 25-18, 25-23, 25-12
- Harlowton def. Absarokee: 25-22, 25-20, 25-22