Netters falter heading to tourney

Dillon’s Courtney Linder fires a shot into the teeth of the Corvallis defense during a match last week. The Blue Devils are the regular season champions heading into the divisional tourney this weekend. The top two teams from the meet advance to the state “A” tournament. Jess Alberi photo

 

The Dillon Beavers volleyball team last weekend lost the final two matches before the start of the matches that really count later this week.

With the Nov. 7–9 Southwestern “A” Divisional Volleyball Tournament looming, the Lady Beavs closed their regular season with a straight-set loss to Corvallis in Dillon on Saturday afternoon, a day after falling in four sets in Anaconda.

The Dillon girls on Saturday kept it close the first two sets, before losing both, 22-25, and then let Corvallis cruise to an 8-25 win in the third to close out the match.

“Corvallis is a legit, strong team that makes very few unforced errors and has a quick offense. They are undefeated in conference matches and have earned where they are at,” said Dillon Volleyball Head Coach Angela Racicot after the match.

“We came out ready to play in the first two games and were much more aggressive and efficient than Friday night. I was proud of the girls for letting go and learning from the mistakes from the night before and establishing our offense and getting in system.”

As part of Saturday’s proceedings, BCHS volleyball honored its five seniors: Allie Morstein, Taryn Judge, Courtney Linder, Josee Pendleton and Holly Hansen.

“It has been an honor to coach the five seniors over the past four years,” said Racicot.

“Seeing them all evolve and mature from freshmen to seniors has been incredibly inspiring, and they are the perfect example of BCHS leaders. They all lead in the classroom through academics as students and on the court through sportsmanship as athletes.

“They have dedicated to the program and have set an amazing standard for all who come after them.”

The seniors showed that leadership Saturday on the court, where Pendleton contributed 9 kills and a pair of blocks, Judge led the defense with 18 digs, Linder recorded 5 kills and 11 digs, Hansen aided the defense with a block and 3 digs and Morstein set up her teammates with a pair of assists.

The previous night, Dillon travelled to Anaconda, where the Lady Beavs did win a set, but not their match against the Lady Copperheads, who triumphed in four sets, 17-25, 23-25, 25-19, 20-25.

“We never controlled any phase of the game,” commented Racicot. “Playing in the Snake Pit is tough and we gave into the pressure and were too inconsistent with unforced errors, specifically missed serves and hitting errors.”

Still, Racicot feels her Lady Beavs could do well in the six-team, double-elimination Southwestern “A” Divisional Volleyball Tournament that starts tomorrow in Corvallis.

“We need to have a positive, aggressive mindset going into the weekend,” said the Lady Beavs coach. “When we play intuitively and control the tempo, we feel much more confident and in turn, play better.”

The #4 seeded Dillon will take on #5 seed Stevensville, starting Thursday at 6 p.m. The winner will face host and #1 seed Corvallis on Friday at 11 a.m., while the other team will head into the loser’s bracket to await the loser of #2 Anaconda’s matchup against the winner of the first-round showdown between #3 Hamilton and #6 Butte Central.

“We would have preferred to be the #3 seed opposite of Corvallis,” admitted Racicot. “However, we need to not over-analyze and simply go play our game. We are ready, focused and determined.”

The tournament will wrap up with a Saturday afternoon championship match, with the winner and runner-up earning spots in the 2013 State Class A Volleyball Tournament Nov. 16–18 at Montana State University’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman.

“All that matters is how we perform this weekend,” concluded Racicot, “which leaves a lot for us to look forward to.”