The past week of volleyball across the county saw the beginning of conference schedules, with some teams faring better than others.
The Huskies had a great week, first beating Belfry on Thursday, then besting conference rival Park City on Saturday.
Belfry fell in three games, with the Huskies out-scoring the Bats 75-34.
Absarokee racked up 27 aces, led by Hana Kelly with 10. Emma LaMoure had two of the team’s four digs, and Caitlin Young had eight of the 11 Huskie assists.
Mallorey Sheppard had a big game for Absarokee, leading the team in both kills (eight of 13) and blocks (two of two).
The Park City match also ended in three games, with the Panthers never scoring more than 18 points in a game.
Sheppard once again dominated the stats sheet, leading in aces (five of 16), kills (seven of 15), blocks (one of one), and tying for the lead with four of 17 digs. Hana Kelly and Breezy Williams each had four digs as well. Caitlin Young had nine of the team’s 12 assists.
Coach Tonya Steffenson was pleased with her team’s showing against Park City. She said the team chemistry is great, and each player has taken up a leadership role.
The Huskies face the Bridger Scouts away on Thursday, a game Steffenson is looking forward to, saying her girls are excited to play in a game that should be fun and competitive. Absarokee will face Fromberg, away, on Saturday.
The RPR Renegades had mixed results last week, first beating Broadview-Lavina, then falling in the team’s conference opener to Custer-Hysham.
RPR beat Broadview-Lavina in three sets on Thursday, holding the Pirates to 32 total points.
Nynah Bryant led the team in aces and assists, with four and 14, respectively. Mercedes Hoff also played well, with three aces and seven digs. Destiny Ayers led the Renegades with 10 of 22 total kills.
Saturday’s match against Custer-Hysham did not go as well, with RPR falling in three games.
According to Coach Teresa Bare, an injury during the match caused the Renegades to scramble and forced them to switch up the offense.
Carlee Blodgett had a big game, leading the team in both kills (10 of 19) and digs (eight of 17). Jocelyn Ott had 11 of the team’s 19 assists, and Hoff had two aces.
Bare said the team is hoping for a strong showing during the team’s non-conference match against Roy-Winifred at home (in Reed Point) on Saturday.
The Cougars started the conference schedule strong with a win against Shepherd on Thursday, but on Saturday they fell in a non-conference match to Big Timber.
Shepherd put up stiff competition for Columbus, forcing the fifth game in the match after coming back to win the fourth game from a 2-1 set deficit.
The Cougars shared the work load, with Morgan Kirch leading the Cougars with 11 kills, Reed Johnson leading with 19 assists, and McCarrey Miller leading with 14 digs. Maddi Carmen and Johnson each had four aces, and Carmen split the team’s two blocks with Kirch.
The Big Timber match, while still close, saw Columbus fall in four games. The Cougars lost the second and third games each by a score of 27-25.
Kirch and Carmen both earned recognition by racking up 12 kills a piece; Carmen also led the team with five aces. Saturday brought some new statistical leaders, with Ulu Brooks having 15 assists, Camryn Ault having 17 digs, and Brenna Rouane having one block.
This upcoming week, Columbus looks to add to its conference record with a game in Joliet on Thursday and a home game against Roundup on Saturday.
The Park City Panthers began their conference schedule with tough games against Bridger and Absarokee, losing both.
On Thursday, Bridger defeated Park City in three fairly quick games.
Blakely Verke had a strong outing with 10 of the team’s 12 assists, as well as half of the team’s four blocks. Brittany Frank had two aces, and Kassidy Robbins had three kills. Robbins and Megan Flemmer each had five digs.
In Saturday’s loss against Absarokee, Frank again led the team in aces, as well as kills, with three of each. Robbins topped the team in digs (five), as well as in kills (three). Verke had every single one of Park City’s eight assists. Andee Baker and Alyx Grabowska split the team’s two blocks.
Coach Kate Cristaldi felt that the young Park City team’s inexperience and nerves showed in both games last week. Despite the jittery play, Cristaldi said the team had “some shining moments during which the team’s potential was apparent.”
The Panthers’ goals for this week are to increase such shining moments and work on maintaining mental toughness throughout the game to ensure nerves do not hamper the team’s play.
Park City will be searching for its first conference win on Thursday against the Custer-Hysham Rebels. On Saturday, the Panthers face the Roberts Rockets.