Lady Trojans survive challenge by Lady Prospectors, stay atop D13C
DRUMMOND – It was just your typical Thursday night volleyball game in Granite County.
Except that nothing is ever typical when it involves Drummond and Granite.
“It’s not a focus thing,” said GHS Head Coach Kaley Hansen, “it’s a cross-county rival thing. We play tighter when we play Drummond. We played some very intense matches this weekend (Manhattan Christian Tournament) and we played really well and we rose to the occasion because we don’t know who they are. “
But put a blue jersey on the opposition and apparently something changes.
The rivalry between the Lady Prospectors and Lady Trojans was on full display Thursday night in Drummond, as Drummond held off a continually improving Granite team 3-1.
The victory improves the Lady Trojans to 8-0 in District 13C play and in sole possession of first place. They’ll close out district play against Lincoln and Victor (the 5th and 6th teams over the next two weeks.
Granite falls to 6-2 and stays in second. They have road trips to Lincoln and third place Seeley Swan. The latter holds the tie-breaker over the Lady Prospectors and so a win there is imperative to keep Granite with a first-round bye when the District 13C tournament starts October 26 at Valley Christian in Missoula.
Thursday’s match started with a bang. Drummond edged out to a 15-10 lead only to have Granite roar back and tie it at 16. And the two teams remained deadlocked all the way to 29-29 before the Lady Trojans managed back-to-back points to win the extended set and take a 1-0 match lead.
But the Lady Prospectors remained undaunted. The second set was close from the start, but Granite eventually pulled away late to claim a 25-19 victory and even the match at 1-1.
“I think it has a lot to do with momentum and shifts in certain plays where we dropped a few points early,” said DHS Head Coach Sam Larson. “Sometimes it’s a mental battle to try and get back from something like that. But the thing with volleyball is you have to move on from the play or the set to the nest one, and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
Sets three and four were just as close the first two, but this time Drummond found a way to edge out a pair of three-point wins that gave them the match and first place. On the night the Lady Trojans outscored the Lady Prospectors by just two points, 100-98.
“We just kind of fell apart and stopped working together,” said GHS junior Montannah Piar of the loss. “We got a little frazzled at the end and stopped talking to each other. We had it in our hands and we just let it go.”
It was a night replete with big stat numbers. Drummond’s Delaney Wagner had a match-best 19 kills with teammate Kimber Parsons close behind at 13. Granite’s Piar slipped in between the two with 15.
With Drummond taking a myriad of shots, Granite had a ton of opportunities to register blocks. Ramsey Smith stopped 13 Lady Trojan attacks with Addi Lilyquist notching eight. Remington Cline and Parsons combined to get three for Drummond.
Ella Tallon handed out 26 assists for Granite, with Lexi Nelson (23) and Anna Kate Sawfer (15) doing the honors for Drummond. And Tallon led all servers in the match with four service aces.
Perhaps the largest stat of the night went to Lilyquist on defense where she registered 38 digs.
Granite – 29/25/22/22 – 1
Drummond – 31/19/25/25 – 3
Kills – (G) Smith 7, Benson 2, Spehar 3, Piar 15, Lilyquist 8, (D) Parke 4, Wagner 19, Nelson 3, RCline 4, CCline 4, Parsons 13
Blocks – (G) Smith 13, Piar 5, Lilyquist 8, (D) RCline 1, Parsons 2
Assists – (G) Smith 1, Benson 1, Tallon 26, (D) Parke 1, Nelson 23, RCline 1, ASawfer 15
Digs – (G) Smith 24, Benson 11, Flores 24, Spehar 8, Tallon 27, Piar 20, Lilyquist 38, (D) Hicks 23, Parke 10, Wagner 16, Nelson 12, RCline 4, CCline 7, ASawfer 17, Parsons 8, HSawfer 5
Aces – (G) Smith 1, Benson 1, Flores 2, Spehar 1, Tallon 4, Piar 1, Lilyquist 1, (D) Hicks 3, Nelson 2, ASawfer 1, Parsons 1
Drummond def. Granite
25-19, 25-8, 10-15, 15-6
As the opening act for the varsity, the two county junior varsity teams didn’t disappoint in their match. Drummond won 3-1 with Granite taking the third set to stave off a sweep.
Brihanna Treadway led the Lady Prospectors with a pair of kills and an ace, while Averee Rich added four aces.
Naomi Perry led Drummond with four kills and four aces, while Kameron Wetsch had 12 assists. Hazel Sawfer also had five aces and Piper Wetsch four.
NOTE – JV Statistics are unofficial.