Lady Beavers outdo Panthers, Maroons at net

 The Dillon Beaver girls volleyball team backed up the promise it showed in the tipoff tournament by winning two of three matches last week.

The Dillon girls started the week in Belgrade on Tuesday, where they dropped the first set to the Panthers, 21-25, but then found their groove and never lost it on their way to winning the next three sets, 25-23, 25-17, 26-24.

Dillon’s Courtney Linder and Josee Pendleton both had 12 kills, while Cierra Lamey and Taylor Chase were right behind with 10 and 8.

Taryn Judge ruled the backcourt, coming up with 30 digs in the contest, while Allie Morstein consistently set the table for her teammates with 25 assists.

“I was pleased how we played solid and aggressive on both sides of the ball, especially for our first match of the season," said Dillon’s rookie head coach, Angela Racicot.

On Thursday, Dillon held their home opener against Butte Central and again showed that they can play good defense—but also showed that their power at the net is what is going to set them apart this year.

“Our goal was to start and stay strong throughout the match,” said Racicot. “The girls came ready to play and were relentless at the net. We never let down our guard and we played to our potential.”

Although all of Dillon’s power hitters saw a lot of action at the net against the Maroons, Linder led the way, with an amazing .611 hitting percentage and 11 kills with no errors.

“This summer, I really focused on eating healthy to nourish my body as best as I could and I worked out every day, sometimes twice a day, so when the season came around I would be prepared and ready to play to my full ability,” said Linder, a senior.

Linder said the thing she enjoys most about playing for the Lady Beavs is the team chemistry this season.

“I love the feel of team and that no matter who gets the kill or dig, your teammates are going to be excited.”

The Beavers took their confidence, if not their A game, to their home floor again on Saturday, when the Hamilton Broncs came to town.

The Beavs struggled in all three games, committing a large number of unforced errors and often failing to get their offense set up.

The Dillon girls dropped the first set, 2-25, before getting their feet under them enough to compete. The next two sets were much tighter, bu the results were the same, with Hamilton winning, 22-25 and 19-25.

“Statistically, we beat Hamilton in almost every category but our errors got the best of us,” added Racicot. “We had a set-back with Hamilton, confirmed the MSU bound Linder. "But it was a good reminder we still have a long ways to go before Divisionals and we just need to regroup and refocus.

“Also, Coach Racicot is doing an awesome job with mixing intense drills and fun, relaxing games. I think that combination is critical because we are serious when we need to be, but then we can also be relaxed on the court and just play our game.”

Racicot thought fatigue may have played a factor in Saturday’s loss.

“Three matches in one week is a lot of volleyball to play and the girls did an outstanding job throughout the week,” said the BCHS art teacher.

“We’ll reevaluate some things and make some minor changes and be ready to play Corvallis on Tuesday and Stevi on Saturday.”