Three weeks after fall practice began, Belgrade’s volleyball team finally saw its first action of the season over the weekend in Billings.
First-year coach Jessica Christensen noted her team played well at times, but their inexperience showed as well. The Panthers graduated nearly their entire varsity roster from last year’s state Class A runner up team.
“We went a long time without a game, so I feel like the kids were ready to play, but really nervous this weekend. Especially with the very limited varsity experience we have on this team,” Christensen said. “So they were definitely nervous, but I honestly felt like we had a pretty good weekend.”
Belgrade lost to Billings Senior in four sets Friday night, 16-25, 25-16, 25-16, 20-25, and then lost in four sets to Billings Skyview Saturday afternoon 24-26, 25-17, 19-25, 20-25.
“I feel like we had some of that first game jitters, especially on Friday,” said Christensen. “Like I said, we have very limited varsity volleyball experience in that group.”
Christensen noted there were several long rallies against Senior in the fourth set, but the Broncs came out of top each time.
“None of them went our way in the fourth set,” she said. “But it lasted forever.”
Kamie Gorrell led the offensive attack against the Broncs with seven kills, while Hazel Eaton and Maddie Tomasetti each had five.
The Panthers served aggressively throughout the weekend, Christensen noted, and tallied nine aces against Skyview. Tessa Lamb tallied a team-high nine kills and 4.5 blocks in the match, while Tomasetti had seven kills.
“Today Tessa Lamb had the best game I’ve ever seen her play and so did Maddie Tomasettti,” said Christensen. “So both our middles were really, really good today.”
Belgrade will make its home debut Tuesday hosting Butte High in a non-conference match.
Billings Senior def. Belgrade 25-16, 16-25, 25-16, 25-20.
BELGRADE (0-1) - Kills: 25 (Kamie Gorrell 7). Digs: 57 (Tycelee Bowler 19, Hazel Eaton 16). Blocks: 5 (Tessa Lamb 3). Aces: 7 (Gracie Tadvick 3). Assists: 23 (Hicks 23).
BILLINGS SENIOR (1-0) - Stats not provided.
Billings Skyview def. Belgrade 26-24, 25-17, 19-25, 20-25.
BELGRADE (0-2) - Kills: 30 (Tessa Lamb 9, Maddie Tomasetti 7). Digs: 81 (Hazel Eaton 21, Tycelee Bowler 16). Blocks: 7 (Lamb 4.5). Aces: 9 (Delanee Hicks 3). Assits: 29 (Hicks 28).
BILLINGS SKYVIEW - Stats not provided.