By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Lady Bobcats working to finish matches as they gear up for Rawlins Invitational

 

September 6, 2017

THERMOPOLIS - If the Hot Springs County volleyball team learned one thing from the Border Wars in Cody on Sept. 1-2 it was that they need to work on closing out the close games.

The Lady Bobcats went 0-4 in Cody but if you look closer the team dropped a lot of close games in those matches. Miles City, Montana, (3-1, 25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 25-20) Glendive, Montana, (3-2, 25-17, 17-25, 20-25, 25-16, 15-5) Laurel, Montana (3-0, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18) and Sidney, Montana (3-2, 20-25, 16-25, 25-19, 25-14, 17-15).

"These preseason tournaments are good indicators of where we need to go from here. We didn't get blown out by any of these teams, it was nice to see we have the defense that it will take. But we will have to set some goals during practice for game-like situations and conditioning, or our unforced errors. We had way too many over the weekend and that will be something we're going to work on," said HSCHS coach Shannon Hill.

Losing those close games in the matches stung, but Hill was able to use that as a teaching moment for her team; saying that if they can make a few correction those games, and eventually matches, will swing in their favor.

"It makes the postgame talks a little more positive because it comes down to some things here and there. Our second game Saturday we were up 14-11 in the fifth game and we ended up losing, which was frustrating but then again that's about finishing. My setter (Haley McDermott) got hurt and she didn't play that whole match, but that shows we can play without one of our better players and we're still a team. There were a lot of things we learned this weekend that were really good," said Hill.


One area of improvement that caught Hill's eye was her team's conditioning. When some matches went to five games she noticed that her team's legs started to leave them.

"We need to work on getting in shape to play five games. We took two teams to five games and I could see the girls were getting tired. I don't make a lot of subs and a lot of the girls play all the way around. So that was an eye opener for me that I need to get them ready for those types of games," said Hill.

While the Lady 'Cats struggled in Cody, Hill was impressed with her senior leadership of Haley McDermott, Mary Ryan and Emmie Coyne. And when McDermott went down with an injury causing her to miss the Sidney match, sophomore Ashley McPhie answered the call and rose to the occasion filling in for the senior setter.

"Mary Ryan and Emmie Coyne were my two senior outsides and our senior setter Haley McDermott really stepped it up. Those three are the leaders on the court and keep the team together even if we're losing," said Hill. "Then when Haley got hurt my sophomore stepped in, Ashley McPhie, and did a really great job."


Working on lowering their unforced errors and upping their condition will be the practice plan for the Lady 'Cats this week as they prepare for the Rawlins Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

"We have to decrease our unforced errors and work on our offense because we've struggled on that end. We'll make sure we're going to practice like we're in a game that way when we take teams to five we can continue on and win some games after that third game," said Hill.

 
 

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