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Monday, November 20, 2017

Lady Devils place 4th at Divisionals, head to State

By Eric Killelea

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The Dawson County High School girls volleyball team placed fourth in the Eastern A Divisional to advance to the Class A state tournament. 

Last Thursday, DCHS fell to Lewistown 3-2. But on Friday, they defeated Miles City, 3-0, and Hardin, 3-2. Though they lost on Saturday to Lewistown, 3-0, they qualified for the state tournament in Bozeman, Nov. 9-11. This week, DCHS plays Corvallis at 4 p.m. Thursday at Montana State University.

In email, head coach Tiffaney Egan wrote that it was the DCHS win against Hardin that secured their ticket to state and they “had not gone to state for volleyball since 2005 and have only gone one other time in Dawson history in 1998.”

Egan added: “I have coached for a few years now and have to say this will be one of my most memorable victories! I have placed a few times at a national level, been part of many state showings and a couple state titles and yet this match against Hardin for the chance to go to state is by far a win that I feel the most accomplished with my girls!”

Remembering the weekend, Egan explained that coaches and players expected a tough match against Hardin, which defeated them twice during the regular season conference matches. “The excitement, relief and overwhelming of success filled the gym,” Egan remembered. “We were the underdog going in. My experience last season at this tournament was that no one expected Dawson to be successful at this tournament no time soon!”

DCHS played well despite the odds and recorded six aces, 43 kills and nine blocks overall. A strong defense had a passing average of 2.05, with 127 digs. “This is the best we have ever done defensively,” Egan wrote. “This gave us a huge advantage offensively.”

Many times in the huddle, coaches could see signs of tired, exhausted players. “But they went out and executed with intent,” Egan wrote. “We condition well during season. It takes an enormous amount of mental and physical strength to last and compete in postseason matches. There’s a lot on the line and all teams are in their prime! This team is special in that they made some goals together, some big goals and then made small steps all season to implement those goals and then had faith they could carry them out!”

The on-court reaction after the match was “intense with tears, emotions, relief and belief,” Egan wrote. “This is huge for our program, our school and each and every player that steps on the court in Glendive Montana,” Egan added. “We are creating a culture of hard work, discipline, determination, and, often times sacrifice can find some success. The girls tell me a lot that I work them to death. I asked them after the match, ‘Was it worth it?’ I got a big ‘YES.’”

In other divisional action, Belgrade defeated Lewistown, 3-0. Billings Central defeated Belgrade, 3-0, for the championship.

DCHS def. Hardin

22-25, 25-16, 25-16, 20-25, 15-12

DCHS: Kills: 43 (Karsen Murphy 13). Assists: 43 (Bailey Pearcy 27). Aces: 6 (Addie Reinhart 3). Digs: 127 (Thea Robson 35). Blocks: 9 (Murphy 4).

Hardin: Kills: 45 (Mariah Simmons 21). Assists: 37 (Shea Esp 36). Aces: 4 (Esp, Natalie Edgar 2). Digs: 97 (Katie Murdock, Esp 19). Blocks: 7 (Simmons 5).

DCHS def. Miles City

25-20, 25-21, 25-17

Miles City: Kills: 22 (Kyra Oakland 7, R. McAuliffe 6). Assists: 23 (Josie Chapnake 14, Amanda Beard 9). Aces: 5 (Andy Porter 3). Digs: 41 (Sage Diegel 10, Oakland 8, Beard 8). Blocks: 12 (Morgan Johnstone 3).

DCHS: Kills: 40 (Karsen Murphy 12). Assists: 40 (Bailey Pearcy 22). Aces: 13 (Addie Reinhart 4). Digs: 84 (Meadow Torres 30). Blocks: 8 (Murphy 3, Torres 3).

Reach Eric Killelea at
rrsports@rangerreview.com.

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