Bulldogs lose to Nighthawks, prepare for postseason

The lady Bulldogs fell to the Nighthawks in four sets (15-25, 25-21, 18-15, 19-25) in their final tune up before heading into the volleyball postseason.

By Chris Slone

Ellie Stafford led Bowman County with 21 kills, which saw her reach 1,000-career kills during the match. Stafford also recorded 15 digs for the Bulldogs defense.

The facilitator of the group was Jill Svihovec who notched 31 assists, which was good enough to give her 1,000-career assists.

Bulldogs Head Coach Jennifer Holecek said the biggest problem during the contest was trying to get Hettinger-Scranton out of their system.

“One of the biggest problems was trying to use our offense to try to push them out of system,” Holecek said. “We probably allowed Hettinger-Scranton to play 

system way more often than we should have and that made it really tough to try to pick up our defense.

“We needed to be a little more aggressive offensively, but it’s things working forward. Hettinger-Scranton is an excellent team.”

Holecek is now focused on the playoffs. Bowman County will receive a first-round bye, which has never happened in school history, according to Holecek.

The Bulldogs are the 3 seed. They will play the winner of 6-seeded Killdeer and 11-seeded Mott Regent who face off in the play in round Friday. All games are at Trinity High School.

“If we can push through our opening round of region, we’ve got a good chance to match up with (Hettinger-Scranton) again,” Holecek said. “I would really look forward to that. I think that would be an awesome opportunity for us.”

Preview the possible first game, Holecek said New England is unpredictable.

“New England came here and we had a tougher night against them,” Holecek said. “They’ve been a wildcard. They’ve won some crazy matchups against some teams I never would have expected them to win and they played some where I thought they would have won and they didn’t.”

Looking back, Holecek said this is the most successful regular season Bowman County has enjoyed since the super-region was created.

“We’ve never not had a play in game,” Holecek said. “This is the first time we’ve ever gotten a bye as a volleyball squad at Bowman County.”

The season didn’t have its fair share of controversy however. In fact, the first game of the season, the Bulldogs lost a starter for the season to an ACL injury.

“We had to make some big adjustments to the lineup early on that none of us had anticipated,” Holecek said. “We battled through all of that adversity and we’re always coming out stronger, tougher and better.

“I’m really proud of these girls. They come to practice every day. They work really hard. They have a great attitude. They’re really competitive and they want to win. We’ve just got to fix some little things here and there.”