Team uses summer as stepping stone for success

Youth will be served by new volleyball coach

Killdeer VB 8-27xx

It was just three years ago that Allison Steffan led Dickinson Trinity High School to a victory over Killdeer on the Cowboys’ home gymnasium.

Now Steffan is doing everything she can to help the Cowboys reverse their fortunes. Steffan is the Cowboys’ new head volleyball coach.

“I want to make it past that first region round,” said Steffan.

The Cowboys have struggled the past couple of years, falling short of making it past that first round of the Region 7 tournament. Last year, Killdeer ended with a 2-10 record and fell to Glen Ullin-Hebron in the opening round of the playoffs. The year before that, the Cowboys were the eighth seed in the tournament and also lost to Glen Ullin-Hebron in the first round.

“Last year wasn’t the prettiest of seasons,” said senior Gabi Flaget. “But I’m pretty excited for this season.”

The Cowboys open the season Aug. 27 by hosting their own tournament. Steffan likes the talent she has to work with, but has not yet determined the starting squad. But she is expecting big things from her five seniors.

Flaget is among a group of five seniors Steffan will be looking to for leadership. The other seniors include: Taycee Butts, Lily McFadden, Maleah Schmeling and Maddie Hill.

“You always want the leadership in your seniors,” Steffan said. “They’ve shown a willingness to learn and are working hard. They lead by example.”

Indeed. And it started this summer. The seniors arranged work-out schedules and activities for the team, which included meeting for “open-gym” practices and competing in a summer league in Hazen. The team also attended a summer camp in South Dakota and a camp put on by the Dickinson State University coaching staff.

“We just kind of got sick of losing,” Flaget said, who has been on the varsity team the past two seasons.

They worked on the fundamental skills like serving, hitting, blocking and setting. But they also worked on the mental aspect of the game, which they say was a weakness last season.

“Our mental toughness was not as strong, but this year our mental toughness is much better,” said Butts, a two-year starter who also saw some significant playing time as a freshman.

The Cowboys expect the summer work to payoff this season, and they hope it will be a stepping stone for the program, said Butts.

“We came into the season excited that we worked so hard,” Butts said. “We’re building something for the future.”


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