By Amanda Eggert EBS Associate Editor
BIG SKY– Coming off two wins at home, Lone Peak High School’s volleyball team is in good shape to take on rival West Yellowstone at the Big Horns’ homecoming game Oct. 6.
On Sept. 19, Lone Peak squared off against Belgrade’s junior varsity team, a larger, Class B high school they’ll play again in October. Their first set was a hotly contested one, but the Big Horns edged out the Panthers 26-24. Senior Bella Butler closed the set with a kill for game point, one of 11 kills she scored that game.
The following set passed quickly and decisively, with LPHS coming out ahead, 25-11.
The third set initially looked close, but the Panthers lost momentum halfway through. The two teams were tied at 16 when the Big Horns scored point after point on junior Julia Barton’s serve. “She crushed it,” said LPHS head coach Sarah Phelps.
Belgrade wouldn’t score another point; the final set closed 25-16 in Lone Peak’s favor.
Barton and Bryn Iskenderian, also a junior, tied for individual leader in aces with three a piece and junior Kuka Holder led the team in assists with 30. Sophomore Solae Swenson played a strong game at the net, earning a game-high12 kills and 1.5 blocks.
In their next game, Swenson bested herself, breaking the school record she set in 2015. The middle blocker scored 16 kills against Twin Bridges on Sept. 22.
Twin Bridges is a tall team with a reputation for strong hitting and blocking, Phelps said. “They were great competition, they gave us a game.”
The Big Horns went 3-1 in the best-of-five faceoff against the Falcons. “We lost focus on the third [set] and were able to come back in [the fourth set] and really put the game away,” Phelps said.
LPHS won the fourth set 25-10, the largest point spread of the night. Butler led the team in digs with eight, Holder led the team in assists with 28, and senior Bianca Godoy served up four of the team’s 13 aces.
Phelps said the team is really “clicking”—which should come in handy when they play West Yellowstone for the second time this season. LPHS defeated them at the Wolverines’ homecoming on Sept. 9.
“West Yellowstone is a scrappy team,” Phelps said. “They’re very enthusiastic and competitive when they play us so we have to be on our game and ready for everything.”