Lady Beavers fall in 5 at Hamilton play-in

By 
J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Down the middle

Dillon junior middle hitter Evey Hansen drives a kill shot down the midde of the court Wednesday night at Hamilton in a Southwestern A Divisonal tourney play-in game. Hansen’s teammates pictured are left to right Sage Hansen, Madi Ruegsegger and Emily Matamoros. J.P. Plutt photo

The Dillon Lady Beaver volleyball season ended in Hamilton last Wednesday evening with Hamilton winning the rubber match of the season-long rivalry. Hamilton took Dillon down in a five-game match to advance to the Western A Divisional regular draw.

The match between the #5- seed Lady Beavers and #4-seed Hamilton Broncs went the distance for the third time. In the season opening match for both teams, Hamilton won 3-2 in Hamilton. The last week of the regular season, Dillon notched their second win of the season with a 3-2 victory over Hamilton. The single elimination play-in game followed the same pattern, with Hamilton taking the deciding game 5, 15-10.

“I think Hamilton, getting to game 5, they had a little extra motivation to win it,” said Dillon coach Susanne Valach. “I want to say out of our 10 points, we earned 8, but they were not making errors, so we came up a hair short.”

The Lady Beavers opened the match with a a game 1 win, a rarity in a season in which Dillon posted a 2-10 regular season record.

“We did start well, especially our offense,” said Valach of the 25-21 win. “Hamilton started a little slow and we took advantage of that and I thought the girls played confident in game 1. A great start.”

The Lady Beavers fell behind with losses in games 2 and 3, 23-25 and 20-25. Valach felt the difference in those game were Dillon errors.

“We had communication errors, passing errors, one or two out of rotation errors, it was some odd, not often seen errors that I really think bit us at the end,” said the Dillon coach.

The Lady Beavers rallied to post a 25-19 victory in game 4 and force the tie-breaker game 5.

“In game 4 we made one switch in our rotation and I think that helped,” said Valach. “We also serve-received really well that game and Hamilton made more errors in that game. It was a combo of factors.”

The Lady Beavers battled throughout game 5, but fell 10-15.

“You hate to see either team lose when it goes to 5 because both teams played hard,” said Valach. “But credit Hamilton for their effort.”

The win sent Hamilton to #2 Polson and #6 Butte Central, an upset winner of #3 Stevi in the other play-in, to Columbia Falls. Round one of the double-elimination bracket was not kind to the Southwestern A. Hamilton went 5 games with #2 Polson, but the other three first round matches were all 3-0 sweeps by Northwestern A teams, White fish over Frenchtown, Columbia Falls over Butte Central and Ronan over Corvallis.

Columbia Falls beat Polson for the title, and Corvallis and Ronan advanced to the 3rd/4th place match. The state A tourney will be in Sidney.

“We saw improvement throughout the year, not only team-wise, but individually I thought each and every one of them got better,” concluded Valach. “Despite not having many wins, I was really impressed by the kids still working hard every day. I’m proud of them all.”

Southwestern A Play-in #4 Hamilton def. #5 Dillon

25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-19, 10-15

ACES: Dillon (9) – Madi Ruegsegger 3, Lauryn Petersen 2, Ainsley Shipman 2, Jordyn Walker 1, Evey Hansen 1. Hamilton (10).

KILLS: Dillon (55) – Shipman 20, E. Hansen 16, Walker 7, Ruegsegger 4, Kathryn Rondeau 3, Sage Hansen 3, Petersen 1, Emily Matamoros 1. Hamilton (46).

ASSISTS: Dillon (49) – Ruegsegger 38, Petersen 3, Shipman 3, E. Hansen 2, Rondeau 1, S. Hansen 1, Matamoros 1. Hamilton (43).

BLOCKS: Dillon (4) – Rondeau 2, S. Hansen 2, Walker 1, Ruegsegger 1, E. Hansen 1. Hamilton (5).

DIGS: Dillon (93) – E. Hansen 23, Shipman 16, Matamoros 16, Ruegsegger 15, Walker 7, Petersen 7, Rondeau 7, S. Hansen 2. Hamilton (84).

SERVE-RECEIVE RATING: Dillon (1.85) – Shipman 1.97, Walker 1.96, E. Hansen 1.85, Matamoros 1.77, Petersen 1.5. Hamilton (1.6).

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