By MARLYS GOOD
The Riverside Lady Rebels dropped a three-set conference match to Lovell Sept. 16, but they didn’t go down without a fight, at least in the first (21-25) and third (19-25) sets. They lost the middle set 13-25, due to lack of consistency, according to Coach Lindsay Schaffner.
“We were up and down; we struggled with consistency. The girls did a nice job of blocking and reacting off the block. It was a loss … but I was pleased with the way they played,” Schaffner said.
Cydnie Clark, Hannah Hoffman and Taylor Hodge didn’t miss a serve in the match while the Lady Rebels, as a team, served 89 percent. Clark added eight kills and three stuff blocks to her stats; Brittany Vigil had seven kills, four stuffs and 62 percent passing; Hodge had five kills and passed at 61 percent, coming off the bench, and Kinli Vigil passed 65 percent.
“Hannah’s passing is a key for us if we are to be successful this year. She is a very consistent passer.”
The Lady Rebels continued to show improvement at the Thermopolis Invitational Saturday.
Riverside opened pool play with a 15-21, 11-21 loss to Thermopolis, and followed that with splits with Meeteetse, 21-8, 16-21, and Wind River, 21-8, 19-21.
“We came out on fire against Meeteetse and Wind River, then turned and lost our consistency. We have to figure out what to do to keep that intensity — that fire — going. To play so well, then turn around … we need to work on that.”
That put them in the bracketed tournament as a third seed and as luck would have it, they turned right around to play the Lady Cougars of Wind River. The two battled down to the wire in all three sets, but this time it was Wind River getting the victory, 25-22, 22-25, 13-15.
Riverside played their best ball of the day in the closing match. Kinli Vigil was 23 of 23 from the service line; Brittany Vigil had six stuff blocks and nine kills and Clark registered nine kills.
Laughed Schaffner, “They played their best volleyball at the end of the day. Now we have to figure out how to play in the morning.”
Cumulative stats showed the Lady Rebels serving at 87 percent with Kinli Vigil at 97 percent (39-39), and Hoffman serving 25 of 27.
On the attack Clark had 24 kills, Brittany Vigil, 18, and Kinli Vigil and Hoffman, seven each. Brittany Vigil, who had “a super blocking day,” according to Schaffner, registered seven stuffs, Clark four, and Sasha Rollins three.
Schaffner praised the 67 percent passing of Brittany Vigil and Hoffman.
Coming off the Big Horn Invitational Sept. 10, Schaffner had been concerned with her team’s passing. “It was a huge concern. We practiced that all week, and they really stepped up and did a great job on defense at Thermopolis. I was very pleased. Now we need to continue to build on that, and start working more on net play.”
Schaffner emphasized that it isn’t necessarily how hard a ball is put away, but “finding a place to put the ball where the other team isn’t and score a point.”
Riverside is in Burlington this afternoon for matches at 4, 5 and 6. The 1A Lady Huskies are very well coached and are tough year after year, so it will be a challenge for the Rebels.
Friday, the Riverside Rebels will be in Thermopolis for conference matches with the Lady Bobcats at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. This will be the third meeting of the two, and the Lady Bobcats have owned the court, but that could change.
“I thought at times we played well against them — just had a couple of mental lapses. I think we are very capable of playing with them if we keep our consistency and focus. The girls play so much better when they are relaxed. We’ll just play and see what happens,” Schaffner said.