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The undefeated Lady Dawgs taking it game by game

Freshman Ellie Powell spikes it past Richardton-Taylor. (Photo by Cole Benz)

The Bowman County volleyball team has yet to lose to a regional opponent. In arguably one of their best seasons of the program, the lady Dawgs remain the top team in the region.

By Cole Benz
For The Pioneer

“We’re undefeated in the region and we’re undefeated against all class B schools in North Dakota,” head coach Jen Holecek said.

Despite their 9-0 overall record (5-0 in region play), Holecek said she and her coaching staff are trying to keep their team in the present, and not worry about what’s happened earlier in the season, or what could happen as the season winds down.

“I’m not thinking about [the record] a lot, to be honest with you,” Holecek said. “Right now we need to focus on what we’re doing in the present and play a game at a time, and stay grounded.”

Much of their focus has not been on winning or losing particular games, but in trying to develop the best game strategies to make them successful, and they’ve been winning following this philosophy.

Though they try not to worry about what other teams are doing, she admitted that they have been monitoring Hettinger/Scranton’s performances. But most of the focus on their rivals down the highway has been excitement, excitement that they happen to be the top two teams in the region.

“That’s awesome, I’m really excited about that,” she said. “It’s fun having that next door neighbor be so good, it pushes you.”

A big part of their success, Holecek said, has been team unity. Though she said she expected her team’s cohesion to grow with each week of the season, her surprise is how fast that chemistry developed.

“I expected team unity…I didn’t expect it to be so strong so early,” she said. “In volleyball [team unity] is so incredibly important.”

Holecek noted that a team could have all the talent in the world, but would still falter if they didn’t have good chemistry.

Holecek said a nice surprise has been how fast her sub-varsity teams have developed. She again said that she expected development, but not at the quick rate she’s seen so far this year. The quality of their B and C squads have helped prepare the varsity team for their matches.

“They’re really giving [the] varsity some strong competition in practice,” she said.

As the past the middle part of the 2019 season, Holecek said she would like to see her team improve two parts of their game, their serving and their transitions.

Bowman County has about a month left of regular season play before the regional tournament starts. The team is willing to do what they need to succeed, Holecek said. And they have the drive and the ability to take direction and execute, she said.

“They’re so respectful and they want to learn and they want to work with us [coaches],” she said. “It kind of makes the job a little easier than it would be otherwise.”

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