Another Top Trophy

Bridger lands in 2nd place after “wild ride”
By: 
John Hanson
Special to the News
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Photo by John Hanson
The Bridger Lady Scouts secured a 2nd place trophy at the Class C volleyball tournament in Bozeman over the weekend. The team excelled in character and belief, battling through 7 games in 3 days. From left to right, Jordan Althoff, Sami Fusco, Taycee Spindahl, Kyra Kroll, Desiree Jones Scott, Jessica Adkins, Madison Dravetsky, Hope Buessing, Grace Aisenbrey, Krista Campbell, Jenna Kallevig, Emily Adkins and Kourtnee Schill.

Desiree Jones Scott hitting against Simms.

Photos by John Hanson
Emily Adkins hitting against Manhattan Christian left to right Emily Adkins and Desiree Jones Scott, with the Bridger bench looking on.

The All-Class State Volleyball Tournament, in Bozeman, proved to be a very wild ride for the Lady Scouts.  Containing some high peaks and some low valleys, some good and some not so good but at the end of it all was a 2nd place trophy. 

First up was Simms at noon on Thursday.  The ladies started slow and never seemed to gain any momentum, losing 23-25.  Match two they seemed to be coming alive, on top by 25-13…now we are rolling…three was just a repeat of the first, 19-25, sort of watching a bi-polar exhibition.  In match four they dominated 25–12.  The fifth is only to 15, so you have to get off to a good start, the Scouts did just the opposite, dropping the match 8-25, this was not part of our game plan…the loser bracket is down right mean and we had picked that route.  Another loss and it is “head down the highway to home.”

The team notched up only 9 aces, with Emily Adkins getting 5. Desiree jones mustered 10 kills with Jessica Adkins on 16 and Jenna Kallevig on 13. J. Adkins added 4 blocks and 13 digs to her record while Sami Fusco made 10 digs and 19 assists. Top assists went to E. Adkins with 22. Kyra Kroll also brought in 15 digs.   

This defeat meant the team faced three games the next day starting against Plentywood. 

The Lady Scouts started strong, looking good, and running on all cylinders.  Winning the first match 25-17.  Plentywood showed some spunk in the 2nd, but the Scouts came out on top 27-25.  The 3rd was all Bridger, besting the northern team 25-16.  

Bridger acquired 29 kills, Kallevig making 10. Kroll made 18 digs to Jones’ 11. E. Adkins supplied 15 assists with Fusco on 9. 

The ladies got some lunch and got ready to meet defending state champs, Ennis at two.

Ennis has a middle hitter (Klein), next year she has a full ride (scholarship) to MSU, and she is tall and fast.  This game will be interesting…our Lady Scouts came out playing and played like they were a well oiled machine.  Whatever Ennis shot over the net, it was dug and spit back at them.  The Bridger blocking was dominating, shutting down their power hitter, leading to frustration…which translates, into miscues on Ennis’s part.  Forty-Seven minutes later, the Lady Scouts had beaten the defending state champs in three…25-14, 25-19, and 25-18.

The team secured 5 aces against Ennis and 32 kills with J. Adkins on 9, Jones and Madison Dravetsky on 8 each and Kallevig on 5. Jones also got in 6 blocks and 13 digs with Kroll getting 12 digs, and Fusco 10. E. Adkins made 16 assists and Fusco 8.

Now the ladies had to wait until 8 p.m. to face Manhattan Christian.  Christian is a perennial powerhouse, they always seem to have very tall ladies, and this year was no exception.  The Scouts came out swinging, looking like they had lost none of the momentum from the Ennis game.  It was a joy to watch, a true definition of the concept of TEAM.  A reporter from Great Falls remarked, “Bridger is on fire, the have an awesome defense”, when the dust had settled we had another great team in the ladies rearview mirror.  The game was over in three…25-12, 25-11, and 25-17.

J. Adkins made 9 kills with E. Adkins getting 15 assists. Kroll made 17 digs. Altogether the Lady Scouts secured 9 aces and 28 kills. 

Saturday came round and the ladies would face Simms again.  They had vowed that the outcome would be very different.  Eleven rolled around and they started their quest to reach the top.  True to their word, they stopped Simms in three matches, 25-13, 25-21, and 25-16.  

Against Simms three Scouts made 8 kills apiece J.Adkins, E. Adkins and Kallevig with Jones on 6. Jones and Kroll also got 12 digs in and Fusco made 19 assists. 

Wow!!...The Bridger Lady Scouts were now going to face Belt for the championship.  With the first round loss to Simms, the ladies are going to have to beat Belt in two complete games.  Lets get started…the first two matches, saw Bridger on top 25-19, 25-18.  Match three was as seesaw and in the end Belt came out the winner 19-25.  The Belt Huskies are a very good team, they excel in all aspects of the game…this is not going to be a walk in the park, rather a dog fight.  Match four saw the Scouts start and finish strong by a margin of 25-16.  

The team made 43 kills, Kroll on 12 and E. Adkins on 11 with J. Adkins on 11. Jones got in 8 blocks and 8 digs with Fusco making 11, E. Adkins 12 and Kroll 19. For assists E. Adkins had 21, Fuscoo had 18. 

Now there was only one game to go…this one for all of the marbles.

The Lady Scouts started out with another convincing win, 25-14, match two was a little tighter, the Scouts came out on top 25-21…one more to go…the ladies were up 20-18, and it looked as if they could achieve an eleventh state championship.   The Belt Huskies were in their seventh match of the day; the Bridger gals had been on the court for ten matches.  You could see the fatigue reflected on their faces, they were a millisecond slower, and an inch lower on the verticals; the passes and sets were a tad off.  Belt closed the door on the Scouts hope, taking the last three matches.  As coach Moorman said, “We just ran out of gas”.

Jones led in kills with 15 and had 13 digs with Fusco making 21 assists and E. Adkins 16. In further kills the J. Adkins and E. Adkins got 11 each. J. Adkins also made 13 digs.

Well…being second best in the state is not too shabby, they will always play the “What If Game”.  Coach Moorman had announced that this would be his last appearance as mentor and coach of the Bridger Lady Scouts.  So, during the three days, he was besieged by reporters for comments and reflections on 30 plus years at the helm of the Scouts.  By golly he is going to be missed…Vaya Con Dios… Wayne.

The Lady Scouts will be back next year; they lose two seniors, Jessica Adkins and Desiree Jones Scott.  They leave a gaping hole, Jess was a power at the net, receiving her kills was like trying to catch a cannon ball; Des could go vertical, blocking shots that made the Scouts unstoppable. We wish God speed to both our senior leaders.  Like all great programs we lose some players that seem to be impossible to replace, yet some of our younger player will grow and fill these very large shoes.  Sami Fusco (a good setter, becoming a great setter), Madison Dravetsky (hitting harder every game), and Jordan Althoff will be entering their senior year come next year.  They have improved by leaps and bounds this past season.  

The sophomore class is just chucked full of talent, Emily Adkins is one of the smoothest setter/hitters that I have ever seen.  Jenna Kallevig is a hitter and athlete that will just keep getting better.  Kyra Kroll’s roll as libero, already strong and steady will improve; Sidney Althoff will add more stability to the roster.  Getting ready to step into starting rolls are:  Hope Buessing, Grace Aisenbrey, Taycee Spindahl, and Krista Campbell. Our coaching trio is unmatched in all aspects of the game, with the added virtues of being just very nice caring folks…thanks Wayne, Robin and Lena.  The young ladies of Bridger could not be any better hands.  Thanks you Lady Scouts for a fun and exciting season…see you next year.

 

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