By Brandon Walker EBS EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
BIG SKY – Missing two of their senior starters, the Lone Peak High School volleyball team fell to Gardiner on Oct. 8 in straight sets. The Big Horns hung tough, but the Bruins came out on top as they won 26-24, 25-19, and 25-19.
During each of the first two sets, Gardiner seemed to be in control for most of the way, but Lone Peak made a late charge to almost steal the first. After being down by four points late, they scored six of the next seven, bringing the score to 24-23. They had Gardiner at set point, before the Bruins were able to thwart the comeback and clinch the first set.
In the second set, Lone Peak trailed by 10 points, but were able to bring themselves to within four before Gardiner was able to deny the comeback once again. The third set was neck and neck the entire way. With the score at 19-21, in favor of the Bruins, Gardiner was able to score the next four points to end the match.
Seniors Dounia Metje and Madi Rager were out for the contest due to illness. Freshman Maddie Cone and Jessie Bough stepped in to fill their spots. Lone Peak Head Coach Missy Botha was very pleased with how her team performed. “Considering we had a whole new lineup, new faces in different positions, I thought the girls played fantastic. They played their hearts out,” said Botha. “It’s actually kind of exciting to see those younger players perform now at that level because they’ve got three more years of that.”
Bruin junior Josie Thomas, who had a match high 11 kills, and senior Kyndra Long, who tied for the Gardiner team lead with three aces, were a tough one-two punch for LPHS to slow down all night. “Gardiner is historically a good team, so that’s what we were up against with a new lineup,” said Botha. “I was happy to see Chloe getting those bombs up and the whole back row really came to play defensively.”
The Lady Big Horns were paced by junior Reilly Germain, who had four kills. Sophomore TJ Nordahl led the team with five blocks, while junior Chloe Hammond had a team high seven digs. Junior Ivy Hicks was the leader with 18 assists and senior Emery Miller had two aces for Lone Peak. Lone Peak (7-3) will travel to take on Manhattan Christian on Oct. 11.