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LPHS volleyball hits their groove heading into postseason

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Lone Peak sophomore TJ Nordahl (5) spikes the ball against West Yellowstone on Oct. 15. Teammates Hannah Dreisbach (30), Ivy Hicks (24) and Madi Rager (22) look on. The Lady Big Horns won the match in straight sets. PHOTO BY BRANDON WALKER.

By Brandon Walker EBS EDITORIAL

Lady Big Horns raise awareness while topping Wolverines

BIG SKY – The atmosphere inside the Bough-Dolan athletic complex on Oct. 15 was electric as the Lone Peak High School girls volleyball team took on the West Yellowstone Wolverines, but this wasn’t just any match. Aside from the cross-town rivalry between the Big Horns and Wolverines, it was also “Spike for the Cure” night as the schools raised money and awareness for breast cancer treatment and screenings. Both teams and the crowd were exuberant the entire match as it seemed clear that everyone understood the night was about more than just volleyball.

LPHS Head Coach Missy Botha described the sentiment of the evening. “Every year the girls wear pink, they wear high-heels, and they make it a special day. It was nice the girls were given roses and then they were able to give those roses to their moms. It’s a nice way to acknowledge their moms and bring awareness to breast cancer.”

On the court the Lady Big Horns defeated the Wolverines in straight sets, 25-13, 25-18, and 25-16. Although missing junior outside hitter Reilly Germain, the LPHS squad welcomed back seniors Dounia Metje and Madi Rager. Metje was a force for the Lady Big Horns as she led them in three statistical categories with nine kills, two blocks, and tied with junior Hannah Dreisbach with five aces apiece. Rounding out the top performers for Lone Peak were junior Chloe Hammond with 10 digs and junior Ivy Hicks with 16 assists.

“We had a good crowd. They were able to pump us up a little bit. The rivalry between Lone Peak and West has always been there. It’s nice to put them away in three and to do it handily. It’s always nice to beat your rival,” Botha said.

LPHS had the advantage over the Wolverines from the start, ending the first set with a 17-5 run. The Lady Big Horns then proceeded to go on runs of seven, six, and four unanswered points to open up the final set. West Yellowstone didn’t go quietly though. In the second set they were able to fend off set point three times in a row before LPHS was able to put them away.

“It’s nice that they’re back at full strength. When you have your core lineup out there it lends [itself] to having a nice game” said Botha. “That was the main thing: go out there, hit away, have fun and be relentless.”

LPHS volleyball soars past Falcons

TWIN BRIDGES – Neither Twin Bridges nor an early game time could slow down the Lone Peak volleyball team on Oct. 18 as they defeated the Falcons in straight sets.

Head Coach Missy Botha was impressed with her team’s performance. “We were so in tune last night that it didn’t matter who we played,” said Botha. “It was just one of those matches where it was so fun to be a part of because everybody was just on fire.”

Game time was moved ahead from 6:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., but that had no effect on the Lady Big Horns play. They won in straight sets,  25-10, 25-19, and 25-21. This was also the first match in over a week that Lone Peak was at full strength. “It was nice to have the starting lineup out there, and like I said, it was quite a statement. The key to the match was our serving from literally every player,” Botha said.

Senior Dounia Metje and junior Reilly Germain led the Lady Big Horns in serving, with five aces apiece. Junior Hannah Dreisbach paced the team with 10 kills, while junior Ivy Hicks had 28 assists. Rounding out the individual leaders for the Lady Big Horns was junior Chloe Hammond, with 10 digs.

Botha is excited about what her team is capable of as they look ahead to the postseason. “All the fundamentals and boring drills that we’ve been doing throughout the season, all the passing and serving, just getting our form correct, is now starting to really click. It’s nice that everyone’s coming together and playing the way they are,” Botha said.

Big Horns edge out Wolves

THREE FORKS – The LPHS volleyball team was able to capture another quality win, their third in a row, defeating the class-B Three Forks Wolves in a back-and-forth five set match.

Entering the fourth set, trailing 1-2, LPHS was able to find another gear as they fought back to capture two sets in a row and the victory. Coach Botha noted the momentum change, “game four and five we just absolutely dominated … these girls have a lot of heart. They just dug deep and decided that they were going to finish it. It was so cool.” They won the fourth set 25-14 and the final set 15-10.

Now with a record of 10-4, the Lady Big Horns will play their final match of the regular season on Oct. 25 at home against White Sulphur Springs and the District Tournament is set to take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

“It was nice to be able to take that kind of a win going into the final week and then into districts. That’s another thing we can, sort of, take away from that match. [It’s] good prep for the pressure of the postseason,” Botha said.

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