Raiders keep rallying, outlast BuccaneersRICHARDTON — The Richardton-Taylor volleyball team was down, but never out. Except in the first set.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
RICHARDTON — The Richardton-Taylor volleyball team was down, but never out.
Except in the first set.
The Raiders rallied in the second, third and fourth sets to defeat Beach 13-25, 26-24, 26-24, 25-23 in a Region 7 match on Tuesday.
“I was very happy to see that they kept their heads in the game,” Richardton-Taylor head coach Kayla Zent said. “They were fighting and battling until the very end.”
The rally in three couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for Richardton-Taylor (24-14). Both teams ended its regular season, but the Raiders can use the momentous win heading into the District 14 tournament.
“We just have to keep in mind that we played hard and we came back from such a low set,” Richardton-Taylor junior Sami Steiner said. “We stayed together as a team and we won as a team.”
From the get-go, the match looked grim for Richardton-Taylor as Beach wasted no time in the opening set. The Buccaneers (18-11) started on a 13-6 run and finished on Kari Schmeling’s back-to-back aces.
“We’ve had injuries the last few weeks and this is the first time that they’ve been able to play together,” Beach head coach Allison Skari said. “But, I’m glad they played as well as they did.”
The Raiders regrouped and went toe-to-toe with Beach in the second set. The Buccaneers got to match point, 24-22, after a Channa Clarin block.
That’s when Steiner and company went to work. She knocked down back-to-back kills to tie up the set.
“We were really disappointed in the first set and we knew what we had to do to be able to finish,” said Steiner, who had 16 kills and three aces. “We were able to come out and finish strong.”
Richardton-Taylor junior outside hitter Haley Butterfield was masterful on the serving line in the close points on the second set. She ripped an ace and Logan Olson supplied a kill to close out the set. Butterfield finished with four aces and 12 digs.
“Haley is definitely one of our power servers,” Steiner said. “Our serving in the first match was a little shaky, but after that we definitely picked it up.”
The start of the third set was all Beach as a wealth of Richardton-Taylor miscues resulted in a 13-8 lead. The Buccaneers maintained the lead down the stretch as the Raiders took their second timeout trailing 20-16.
The brief break in action proved to be the turning point for the Raiders. They chipped away to tie the game 23-23 on a Butterfield ace.
The team’s traded points and Ashley Gullickson’s kill sealed the third set win for the Raiders.
There was a wave of momentum on Richardton-Taylor’s side, but Beach didn’t seem to notice. The Buccaneers came out hot again in the fourth set, grabbing a 7-4 lead after a Clarin block. Clarin, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, supplied 10 kills and two blocks while creating havoc for the opposing hitters.
The Raiders were able to muscle back, but Clarin was too much in the latter part of the game. She knocked down back-to-back kills to help her team to a 23-19 lead.
Richardton-Taylor took a key timeout and Zent told her girls to hit around Clarin. The message worked and the Buccaneers reeled off six straight points to win the set on a Halle Olson kill.
“It was an up and down game,” Zent said. “In the beginning, we played terrible, but as the game went on we played better. We started moving the ball extremely well.”
Halle Olson supplied 13 kills, while Gullickson added nine kills, two aces and one block. Hannah Rummel dished out 39 assists and 10 digs.
“They really stepped it up after the first set,” Zent said. “Hannah did a really good job of mixing it up.”
For Beach, Hailee Farstveet had eight kills and Bailey Waldal added six. Chantel Fulten posted 19 assists and 12 digs.
Beach and Richardton-Taylor next embark on the District 13 and 14 tournaments, respectively.
The Buccaneers are the No. 1 seed in District 13 and Richardton-Taylor is the No. 2 seed in District 14. Both have first-round byes.
The District 14 tournament begins Friday in Beulah. The District 13 tournament starts Monday in Hettinger.
“This was a perfect practice game right before the district tournament,” Skari said. “I know what I have to work with before the tournament now.”
Beach 25 24 24 23 — 1
RT 13 26 26 25 — 3
Kills: B, Channa Clarin 10, Hailee Farstveet 8, Bailey Waldal 6, Steph Steele 4, Cydni Stedman 3. RT, Sami Steiner 16, Halle Olson 13, Ashley Gullickson 9.
Blocks: B, Stedman 4, Farstveet 4, Clarin 2. RT, Logan Olson 1, Gullickson 1, Hannah Rummel 1.
Aces: B, Chantel Fulton 1, Kari Schmeling 1, Katrina Schumway 1. RT, Haley Butterfield 4, Steiner 3, Maggie Zentner 2, Gullickson 2.
Digs: B, Fulton 12, Schmeling 11, Stedman 7, Farstveet 6. RT, Zentner 13, Butterfield 12, Rummel 10.
Assists: B, Fulton 19, Steele 3. RT, Rummel 39.
Records: B 18-11, 5-0 District 13. RT 24-14, 4-1 District 14.