CONRAD - Out of action for two weeks, the BCLUW volleyball team didn't show any signs of rust Tuesday.
Firing out of the gates, the Comets jumped to a 17-9 lead in the opening game.
BCLUW couldn't maintain the momentum in the set or the match however, eventually dropping the first game by two in a 29-27, 25-11, 21-25, 25-21 loss to Hudson in Class 2A Region 6 quarterfinal action.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
BCLUW’s Kendall Scurr gets under the ball to keep the Comets in the point. Scurr, a junior, is one of eight players who will return for the BCLUW volleyball team next season.
"We came out and played really aggressive right off the bat, which is what I asked the girls to do," said BCLUW coach Kristen Garber.
Knotted at 7 in the first game, the Comets (9-20) used an ace from Mallory Vawter, who served four straight points to claim a 11-7 edge. Back-to-back kills from Kendall Scurr and Reeba Box gave the Comets their largest lead of the contest at 17-9, but the Pirates hung around. After a spike from Scurr pushed the margin to 20-13, Hudson (13-18) retaliated by winning nine of the next 11 points to even the game at 22-apiece.
Trading the next few points, Nicole Montgomery's smash on a long rally put the Comets on top 26-25, though a block and kill from Casey Miles had Hudson in the driver's seat. Montgomery came up with one more defensive stop at the net for the home team, tying the set at 27 before a spike from Corey Miles and a block from Abby Staebell closed it out.
Seeming to lose some steam, the Comets quickly fell into a 11-5 hole in the second set as the Pirates rattled off six straight points. A couple miscues from Hudson allowed BCLUW to pull within 11-7 but it couldn't draw any closer. Back-to-back Comet errors and a pair of aces from Corey Miles extended the margin to 23-9 as the Pirates pilfered a couple more points to cruise through game two. BCLUW finished with 23 hitting errors on the evening and a kill efficiency of .147.
"We didn't come out real quick in game two. (Game one) was a tough one to lose, when we had that lead and were playing really well," said Garber.
Reestablishing their aggressiveness in the third set, a block and kill from Montgomery helped the Comets create a 9-3 advantage. BCLUW widened the margin to 13-6 with a block from Olivia Callaway, though strong net play from Corey Miles and multiple hitting errors from BCLUW allowed the Pirates to rally back to 15-12. BCLUW enjoyed another five point lead at 21-16 but an Staebell winner capped three straight points for Hudson. Box took over with a block and kill, before tapping over the game-winner to keep BCLUW in the match.
"I was really proud of the girls for coming back in game three," said Garber.
A four-point rally from the Comets gave them a 9-5 lead in the fourth set, but a net violation and repeat hitting errors from BCLUW opened the door for Hudson. Tied at 12, neither squad led by more than two until a Comet miscue gave the Pirates a 21-18 edge. Another Comet error and a serve out set up Koch to smash home the match-winner.
"I thought we played well tonight. We had a few little breakdowns where we gave away a few too many points, but overall I thought we played well," said Garber.
Box, an NICL West second-team selection and one of four seniors on the squad, led the Comets with 14 kills and converted 14 of 15 attempts on serve. Callaway added nine kills, while Montgomery had eight and Scurr added seven. Scurr and Callaway came up with 12 and 11 digs respectively and Nicolette Simpson dished out 31 assists. Sarah McCoy and Vawter each served up a pair of aces.
"All four of our seniors played different roles and they were all important on this team. We will really miss all four of them," said Garber.
Hudson will face top-ranked Dike-New Hartford (40-0) in a Class 2A Region 5 semifinal Friday at Dike.
Dike-New Hartford 3, West Marshall 0
DIKE - Class 2A's top-ranked Dike-New Hartford Wolverines improved to 40-0 with their three-set sweep of West Marshall in Tuesday's Region 6 quarterfinal match, winning 25-15, 25-11, 25-19.
Briana Weber had a match-high 20 kills to lead the Wolverines, Lizzy Blough added 10 and Ashley Dumler nine. Rachel Koop totaled 39 assists, and the team totaled 11 ace serves.
West Marshall (22-14) was led by McKenna Hotopp's five kills, while Whitney Benson added four kills and a team-best eight digs. Alarie Craven and Kelsiann Halbloom both served 10-for-10 and had six digs, and Craven finished with eight assists in the season-ending loss for the Trojans.
Dike-New Hartford advances to face Hudson (13-18) in Friday's 7 p.m. regional semifinal in Dike. Pekin (16-14) and Eddyville-Blakesburg (29-8) meet on the other side of the bracket, and the regional final is Oct. 31 in Grinnell.