Scottie Volleyball Reaching High Potential
BY J. LEVI BURNFIN COURIER SPORTS
Published: Thursday, October 18th, 2012
It’s every coach’s intention to get their team to peak just at the right time – to reach the team’s potential at the most important stretch of the season. It’s safe to say the Glasgow volleyball team is peaking at the right time.
The Scottie girls have won six matches in a row as they finish their regular season schedule and head into the district tournament.
“It was a fabulous ending to our district season,” said Head Coach Lori Dailey. “[We played] with focus and confidence.”
Their final district match on Saturday, against the first place Plentywood Lady Wildcats, showcased that focus and confidence. The Lady Wildcats came in to the match undefeated in district play and looking to close out their season without a blemish.
The Scottie girls were admittedly apprehensive at first.
“There is definitely fear playing Plentywood,” said Dailey.
But the girls didn’t show any intimidation early and took a lead quickly in the first set. Plentywood survived the onslaught and took the hard-fought first set 25-23. Early in the second set, the Scottie girls started to become frantic. They were running into each other as they seemed to let the nerves get to them and were trying to do too much.
Earlier in the season, the Scottie girls may have lost all their confidence and would have allowed Plentywood to take the easy win. Not this time.
They began to relax and fought back with timely kills and sharp defense to eventually take an 18-13 lead. But Plentywood went on a long run and were able to tie it at 20-20. Both teams swapped points until it was 24-24. The Scottie girls didn’t flinch and took the next two points for the 26-24 win to even the match at one set apiece.
The third set was possibly the best the girls played all season. They led the entire way as they dominated the play. The Lady Wildcats were on their heels the entire set and could never scratch their way back into it. Glasgow won 25-17 to take the 2-1 lead in the match.
But Plentywood was still capable of winning two sets in a row to steal the match. The Wildcats jumped out to a lead in the fourth set and looked like they might be able to score an easy set win and force a fifth. They eventually held an eight-point lead at 15-7. That’s when Dailey called a timeout.
“I told the girls ‘Don’t you dare take for granted that you have this match. [Plentywood] will never give up. You have to drill it and drill it and drill it,’” said Dailey.
Megan Dailey and Alaina Cole took that literally. Both scored a few kills with some explosive spikes that energized their team and gave the team some momentum.
“They got some big kills when it mattered,” said Lori Dailey.
The Scottie girls were able to roar back with eight straight points to tie it up at 15 all behind the pin-point serving of Rachel Pewitt. Both teams swapped points until the Wildcats scored four of five points to take the 24-21 lead. They were one point away from squaring the match and taking it to the dreaded fifth set.
The Scotties stayed composed and took back the serve with great defense. Down 24-22, it was up to Alaina Cole to execute a few well-placed serves.
“Alaina is really great at hitting the zones that I give her. She trusts where I tell her to serve and it really worked out today,” said Dailey.
Cole proceeded to serve the girls into five straight points to take the set 26-24 and the match 3-1.
“I think it was surprise to most people. Most of the season I thought we could play at that level but we haven’t proved it; and [the Plentywood match] was our final opportunity,” said Dailey. “And the girls did it. They charged together – they played as a team.”
The Scottie girls gave the Lady Wildcats their first district loss of the season and increased their own district record to 7-3 after beating rival Malta on Friday.
The M’Ettes were looking for a bit of revenge after the Scottie girls swept them out of the building the week before in Glasgow. This time the match was in Malta and the M’Ettes played well. The Scottie girls played mixed in some average play during some of the match to allow the M’Ettes to take two sets but the Scottie girls rallied and took the match in five sets.
The Scotties’ winning streak ended on Tuesday during Senior Night, though. They fell in five sets to the Class A Lady Red Devils with the final set going to 16-14. The loss is not what the girls were hoping for to end their regular season, but they still have to be confident going into the district tournament because of their play.
Part of the reason the girls are playing so well is due to the new lineup they have been using.
“The changes that we made to our lineup seemed to be successful so far but we’re comfortable going back to the old one if we need to,” said Dailey.
Both lineups may be needed in the upcoming weeks. The Scottie girls enter the District 2B Tournament in Malta on Friday, Oct. 26, as the third seed behind Plentywood and Wolf Point.
A full tournament preview will be in next week’s Courier.
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