SPEARFISH — Belle Fourche used a late rally to outlast Spearfish three games to two in a varsity volleyball match played Tuesday night at the Spearfish High School gym, in Spearfish.
The homestanding Spartans won the first game 25-18, and Belle Fourche won the second game 26-24. Spearfish claimed a 25-20 win in the third game before Belle Fourche won the fourth game 25-22 and the fifth game 15-11 to claim the match victory.
“In games four and five, I have to give our girls a lot of credit because they kept playing, and they kept working,” Belle Fourche head coach Loree Schlichtemeier said. She added that during the fifth game, Broncs’ players picked up a couple of shots that would have gotten to the ground earlier in the match.
The teams were tied at nine during the first game. KyleeJo Symonds and Dylan Reman recorded attacking kills as Spearfish went ahead 12-9.
Spearfish later gained side out and stayed ahead by three points, at 14-11. Karstin DuPont (attacking kill and block) and Erin Rotert (attacking kill) pushed the Spartans ahead 17-11.
Belle Fourche used an attacking kill by Hayley Wilbur to close the gap to 20-16. Harley Fischer served an ace to keep the Broncs within 21-18, but Spearfish scored the next four points for the 25-18 win.
Early action in the second game found the teams in a 3-3 tie. McKenzie Lyons served two aces to highlight a five-point run that put Belle Fourche ahead 8-3.
Spearfish cut the margin to 14-9 on Ellie Greger’s serving ace. The Spartans used Rotert’s attacking kill to gain side out and stay within 19-15.
Ashtyn Reiners’ serving ace and Rotert’s block helped Spearfish slice the margin to two points (19-17).
The Spartans trailed 23-21 before DuPont recorded a block and attacking kill to forge a 23-23 tie. Belle Fourche tallied three of the next four points to win 26-24.
Spearfish jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third game. Halle Rogers turned in an attacking kill as the Spartans stayed ahead 14-8.
Belle Fourche used a six-point run, highlighted by an Alexis Cherveny serving ace, to cut the margin to 18-16.
Amity Middleton’s serving ace kept the Broncs within 23-20. Spearfish used attacking kills by Rogers and Symonds for the 25-20 win.
Spearfish head coach Christine Skoglund was asked what contributed to the Spartans’ success in the first and third games.
“Once we get up and we get ahead, that spurs them on to do better,” Skoglund said. “Also, our hits were better in the first and third set, and also our defense was better.” She added that communication was also key.
Cherveny served three consecutive aces in the fourth game as the Broncs built a 6-1 lead. Lyons served an ace to keep Belle Fourche ahead 13-7.
The Broncs led 24-21 when Wilbur recorded a block. Belle Fourche went on to the 25-22 victory.
Kaylin Garza’s attacking kill in the fifth game gave Belle Fourche side out and a 6-4 edge. Rogers recorded an attacking kill to keep Spearfish within two points, at 11-9. The Spartans would get no closer, as Belle Fourche recorded four of the next six points for the 15-11 victory.
“In set two, four, and five, we just didn’t focus the entire time,” Skoglund said. She added the Broncs played good defense and hustled during those games.
What are some of the biggest improvements the Spartans have made in recent matches?
“We’re talking better; we’re hitting better,” Skoglund said. “We’re hitting the open spots. Before, we were just hitting right at the opponents’ players.”
Statistical leaders follow.
Serving — Spearfish: Karstin DuPont 3 aces. Belle Fourche: McKenzie Lyons 25 for 25 with 5 aces, Alexis Cherveny 21 for 22 with 6 aces.
Set assists — Belle Fourche: Taryn Stedillie 25. Spearfish: Ashtyn Reiners 20.
Attacking kills — Spearfish: DuPont 14, KyleeJo Symonds 9, Halle Rogers 6. Belle Fourche: Hayley Wilbur 9, Cherveny 9, Amity Middleton 8.
Blocks — Spearfish: DuPont 8, Rogers 4. Belle Fourche: Wilbur 4, Kaylin Garza 3.
Digs — Spearfish: Ellie Greger 34. Belle Fourche: Harley Fischer 25, Stedillie 22.
Belle Fourche will take a 9-15 record into its home match with St. Thomas More on Oct. 22.
Spearfish, 4-18, is scheduled to host Hot Springs on Oct. 22.
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