Bridger volleyball makes it a clean sweep with 11th state trophy

By 
Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, November 19, 2020
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Emily Adkins, Bridger, makes a kill against Manhattan Christian as team mate Jenna Kallevig stays in support.

The Bridger girls swept all before them, literally, taking the District, Divisional, and now the state title in volleyball, the first since 2004.
To add to the incredible achievement, Bridger defeated two teams who had finished off their regular seasons unbeaten, Plentywood at 10-0 and Manhattan Christian at 17-0.
“It feels pretty great to be back at the top of Class C Volleyball,” said coach Lena Kallevig. “My Girls played some of the best volleyball I have ever seen from high school players and I couldn't be prouder of them.”
Bridger opened their account by soundly defeating Simms 25-16, 25-14, 25-9, 11 of the Lady Scouts points coming from aces served up by Hope Buessing with 5 with Jenna Kallevig and Baileigh Skorupa with 2 each.
Simms couldn’t cope with the forward line of Emily Adkins who drilled 19 kills passed them and also added 2 blocks to her name with Buessing.
In return Simms offered very little as Bridger had a fairly easy time at the back, only digging out 32 times, Kyra Kroll on 9, and Kallevig and Skorupa on 6 each.
Skorupa also did duty on assists making 15 and Taycee Spidahl 9.
The win put Bridger up against Plentywood who took the Lady Scouts to 4 sets, 25-22, 25-19, 22-25, but visibly tired after taking the 3rd, leaving Bridger with just the task of mopping up at 25-11.
Plentywood was simply overawed by the attacking front line from the Lady Scouts and succumbed to a remarkable 50 kills shared out between Adkins 22, Kallevig 16, Mya Goltz, and Buessing with 4 each.
Adkins added 4 aces from a total of 7.
Kallevig, Kroll, and Adkins ably dug the team out, sharing 58 digs as Sorupa made 33 assists.
There were also 7 blocks, Buessing on 5 and Adkins on 2.
With one team’s unbeaten record blemished it was Bridger’s turn to ruin another seemingly invincible team, Manhattan Christian.
For this encounter, Bridger faced a much sterner test and was taken to 5 sets after initially finding themselves 2-0 down, 18-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-10
Both teams went at each other with Manhattan making Bridger dig out 107 times, Kroll on 36, Adkins 23, and Kallevig 17. Bridger made Manhattan work hard in this department as well with 89 digs.
Making teams work is what Bridger likes to see and Manhattan pulled out 21 blocks to deny the Lady Scouts who in turn had 3 blocks, all by Adkins.
Bridger beat Manhattan to kills 57 to 53 with Kallevig on 25 and Adkins on 24 and also surpassed them on assists, 49 to 47, Skorupa 24, Spidahl 11, Adkins 8.
Bridger served up 9 aces to Manhattan’s 6, 3 from Adkins, and 2 each from Dylann Pospisil and Cassidy Schwend.
Bridger was into the final and had to await either Manhattan or Plentywood, two of the toughest teams all season but both humbled by the Lady Scouts,
In the end, Manhattan made their way towards the championship game to face Bridger.
This time Manhattan got the better of Bridger, taking the game 3-1, 25-19, 19-25, 25-22, 25-15.
Manhattan outwitted the Lady Scouts in every department but Bridger still got in 6 aces, two each from Adkins, Kallevig and Buessing, and 44 kills, with again Adkins on 22 and Kallevig and Buessing on 8 each.
Again Bridger tried to unlock Manhattan making them block 24 shots to Bridger’s 6.
Skorupa made 22 assists, with Spidahl on 10 while Skorupa also made 11 digs with Adkins and Kroll got 15.
The defeat meant that a second championship match between the two was needed.
Who would be the more exhausted of the two teams? Who would find the fire needed for that last push?
The answer came quickly as Bridger ran out 25-14 winners of the 1st set. And then took the 2nd 25-21.
Manhattan was rattled but regained composure enough to rally and take the 3rd, 20-25.
The 4th set came up and Bridger found that source of energy as Manhattan flagged, making it 25-18.
“Factors in our titles would be determination and never giving up. We found ourselves down a few times and I saw them claw right back to the top. The mental toughness it took to beat a team as good as Manhattan Christian twice is hard to come by,” said coach Kallevig. “I do believe our defense made us stand out from the rest of the pack though, and once we did dig the ball our hitters put it down hard on the other side. My girls stayed aggressive and played to win. It's easy to play it safe in tight games but they just kept swinging and swinging hard.”
Bridger hit home 6 aces, Skorupa getting 3, and made 54 kills to Manhattan’s 34, Adkins on 26, and Kallevig on 17.
Assists outnumbered Manhattan too, 43-30, with Skorupa on 29 and Spidahl on 13.
Against Manhattan heavily blocked Bridger’s onslaught with 13 to the Lady Scout’s 6, Adkins on 4, and Goltz on 1.5.
As for the digs, again Bridger’s backline is strong, making 105 with Kroll on 33, Adkins 22, and Kallevig 16.