The Killdeer High School volleyball team had the guts and got the glory Tuesday night, resulting in its first winning streak of the season. It’s a modest streak – two matches – but it’s one that had the Cowboys’ Taycee Butts smiling.
The Cowboys came from behind to defeat the Richardton-Taylor Raiders 3-2 in front of a large and vocal home crowd, winning the match 20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-23 and 15-8.
That victory came on the heels of a 3-1 home victory over Bowman County on Sept. 15. The Cowboys won that match 25-22, 28-26, 25-21 and 25-21.
“We’re playing up to our potential,” said Butts, who led the team with 11 kills. “We’re communicating and we’re working hard.”
And it’s paying off. The Cowboys have won three of their past four games, and the loss to New England was a five-set nail-biter. In each victory, the Cowboys were able to come up with big plays.
Tuesday night was no exception. Killdeer trailed 2-1 in the match and faced a 19-15 deficit in the must-win-or-go-home fourth game. Sparked by a thunderous spike by Chenneth Morlock, the Cowboys went on a 6-1 run to open a 21-20 lead.
But the Raiders countered with a 3-1 spurt to take a 23-22 lead. With the match hinging, the Cowboys answered with hustle and aggression, forcing a Raiders’ hitting error followed by a spike by Britney Reiss and a Raiders’ hitting error caused by a spike from Butts that clinched the victory and forced a fifth set.
Richardton-Taylor jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but the Cowboys siezed the momentum with a 10-3 run that was punctuated by hustle, good passing and great execution that led to points after long rallies.
Butts scored three points – two on spikes – and Reiss put one away with a spike over two blockers.
After Richardton-Taylor cut the lead to 11-8, Killdeer put it away with a 4-0 that was highlighted by kills by Chenowith and Reiss.
“They just kind of hustled,” beamed Killdeer head coach Allison Steffan. “We had a lot of hustle pays that helped our momentum.”
Butts led the way with 11 kills, while Morlock had 10. Gabi Flaget dished out 18 assists and Steena Larsen had 13. Elissa Steffan paced Killdeer with 32 digs, followed by 31 from Larsen and 26 by Butts.
In the match with Bowman County, the Cowboys used hustle and determination to turn the momentum in their favor.
After winning the first set, they trailed 24-20 in the second set, and rallied to take a 25-24 lead.
But Bowman County regained momentum to post the 28-26 victory.
The Bulldogs used that momentum to forge a 5-point 0 lead in the third set before Killdeer rallied for the victory.
Butts led with nine kills and Flaget added 15 assists. Steffan had 24 digs to pace the Cowboys, Reiss added five blocks and Steffan recorded five aces.
They were slated to play at Glen/Ullin on Thursday and at a tournament Saturday in Dickinson.