September 25, 2008

Miscommunication mars Miner district loss

Until Sept. 16, most of the volleyball teams on this side of North Dakota were equal. Sure some had a few shiny pieces of extra hardware to haul around after a tournament but in reality everyone made par. As of the morning of Sept. 17, however, only half of District 9 could say they were unbeaten. Hazen was on that list, Beulah was not.

The pressure was already intense for the first official district contest of the season but add in the standing rivalry between the Bison and the Miners and the atmosphere had a postseason-like feel to it.

With all that fuel in the air, it didn’t take long for middle hitter Allison Opp to ignite the Bison flame early, smashing three consecutive kills to put her team up 5-3.

Senior outside hitter Erica Duewel then reeled off a four-serve scoring streak, coupled with a Jessie Battest kill, to help Beulah recover from the early onslaught and pull ahead 14-10. The Bison took a timeout to gather themselves and tried putting a damper on Duewel’s bullets.

"We tried to do too much," Beulah head coach Kevin Peterson explained. "They continued to fight and we knew in order to be in the match with them, we’d have to play serve receive and defense."

When play resumed the Bison pulled within 16-14, and it was the Miners’ turn to call the timeout and gather their thoughts.

"Our team defense was really focused," Hazen head coach Kim Wolf explained. "The block was stopping or at least slowing down their attack and we played very good floor defense behind the block."


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