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Idaho Enterprise

Winning Continues as Lady Dragons take two

Splitting their games away and home, the Lady Dragon volleyball team has been doing nothing short of dominating each of their matches as they move through their 2023 season.  With another two wins to add to their streak, the MHS team is finding their rhythm, playing with power and finding success as they take to the volleyball court.

Tuesday, August 29, the team opened their week’s games as they traveled to Arimo to play against the Marsh Valley Eagles.  The Lady Dragons took the match in three easy games as they won 25-14, 25-22, and 25-24.

  With another win under their belt, the MHS volleyball team returned home to play their first home game of the season against 4A school Mountain Crest from Hyrum, Utah.  The Lady Dragons came into the game ready for the challenge the Mustangs would bring and confident that between their skill and determination, they would win the night.

The first plays of the match started off a bit rocky for Malad, but the cold start quickly warmed up as outside hitter Brynnlee Jones brought energy to the team with several strong attacks to get the momentum rolling.  Connecting with the ball on good serves, better passes and even better hits, the Lady Dragons quickly found themselves not only catching up, but taking the lead from Mountain Crest.

Teagan Daniels started on a particularly stellar rally for Malad with a great pass from deep in the back court to help set up a strong hit from the outside.  Mountain Crest pulled up a strong attack in return that middle Liv Nelson saved from dropping just short of the ten foot line.  After sending it back across the net, defensive specialist Brylee Oglesbee dug a big hit from Mountain Crest allowing setter Adley Kimberling to set up Hallie Horsley on the outside for another attack that their opponent was able to scrap together a return pass.  With momentum on their side, Oglesbee set up their final attack with a perfect passed, followed by a perfect set from Kimberling to culminate in a killer hit from Horsley that Mountain Crest could do nothing to defend.

As the Lady Dragons continued to attack the Mustangs, Mountain Crest found some success on the front line as their blockers put up stops to more Malad attacks.  Despite their good blocking, the MHS volleyball kept right up with their play as they pulled together to cover their hitters, keeping the ball alive and second chances a possibility.

Anistyn Tovey had several plays in a row that found her up to the net picking up blocked hits followed to then run to the corner to pick up a deep corner hit.  Not only did Tovey keep the ball alive and in play, but also set up her team with a good pass that eventually ended in a successful hit.

Finding themselves up, 24-16, the Lady Dragons scored the game ending point on a hit from the right side by Izzy Haycock off a well placed backset that took the Mustangs by surprise.

Malad started off game two with a quick lead as Kimberling stepped to the service line, sending over serves that were difficult to pass and even harder for Mountain Crest to control.  It was long before Malad was up 4-1.

The Lady Dragon front line defense began to step up as they moved into the second game, putting up blocks that set a real obstacle in the Mustang’s attack game.  Nelson found success as she moved left, right and center, putting up a wall with both Haycoack and Horsley on each side of her. 

The MHS volleyball team found themselves on a roll, widening the gap between themselves and their opponent on the scoreboard.  Mikell Keetch came off the bench to serve, bringing the only ace of the game as she rolled the ball just over the net and too short for Mountain Crest to get under.  The Mustangs managed to rally back, having a small surge of energy that caught the Lady Dragons by surprise and on their heels.

Working to take control of the game back, Jones brought a strong attack that reenergized her team and put them back in the driver's seat again.  Horsley, her outside counterpart, finished the game with a series of powerful hits from the outside to pound the ball down and win the second game, 25-19.

The Lady Dragons meant nothing but business as they moved into third and what would be their final game of the match.  They took a commanding lead that they wouldn’t give up as they worked their way to a 25-14 win.  While Malad handily won the game, Mountain Crest were undeterred with every ball that went their way.  Their middle hitter brought a tough quick hit that could have easily caused chaos to the MHS defense.  

However, the Lady Dragons were unphased as they worked together to keep the ball in play.  Haycock often found herself stepping in to take charge on the second hit when Kimberling was forced to take the first, consistently connecting with her outside hitters and setting them up for the kill.  Horsley had several crucial hits from the back row that brought Malad back up on top when getting the set to the front row was difficult.  

Having good passers, hitters and setters taking control across the court led the Lady Dragons to their first home game victory of the season.  Coach Tripp shared, “The girls were hyped for their first home game of the season- it’s always fun to play at home!  Aside for the first two points of the game, we really controlled the game throughout the match.  Mountain Crest was big and had some good hitters, but our defense and blocking was able to shut them down pretty well.  

“Our outsides both did well.  I was proud of Brynlee for swinging smart and effectively.  She only had one error on the night which is awesome!  Halley was a beast, attacking all over the court- front row and back row.  But that all couldn’t have happened without great passing and setting, so shout out to everyone setting us up to be successful that night!”

The Lady Dragons next play as they compete in the two day Star Valley tournament on September 8 and 9.

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