Lady Huskies remain unbeaten in conference

By Marlys Good

Staff reporter

The Burlington Lady Huskies won all three of their matches last week, but the most important victories were those over Dubois, 25-28, 25-10, 25-16, 25-12 and St. Stephens in a long road trip Saturday.

The scores of the St. Stephens match were not available, but notable was the fact that the JV Lady Huskies carried the varsity banner into the match, and kept the record unblemished.

Burlington started the three-game sweep with a win over 2A Riverside Thursday night, when they withstood a challenge by the Lady Rebels to win a “good, hard fought” match, 25-27, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17, 16-14.

“Riverside played well,” Coach Jerry Patrick said. “We jumped on them quick, then let them back in. They had a couple of hitters who hit well and dug everything we hit at them. They just kept bringing the ball back.”

The Lady Huskies were just a step behind as they were playing without senior setter Sadie Neves, who is out indefinitely with an injury, and “that undoubtedly affected our attack,” Patrick said. “We used Taylor Wiles, a sophomore, and she did a nice job for us, but it takes a while for the hitters (to get used) a different setter.”

Serving was down a bit, to 89 percent but Tia Williams was 15 of 15 with an ace (she had nine digs and a kill), and Janet Davidson was 23 of 24 with four aces. Davidson added 11 kills and 10 digs to her stats.

Jessica Stanworth had eight kills, four blocks and nine digs; Shelby Nicholson nine kills, four solo blocks and nine digs; Ashlee Wardell had four kills and Wiles had a kill.

“We had one of our better passing games, probably our best of this year and that was a highlight and helped us come up with a victory,” Patrick said. “But we missed too many serves and digging is a concern. We had too many hitting errors (31) but some of that is just getting used to a new setter. Not that the sets were bad, it is just getting used to them.”

The Lady Huskies gave up a big lead in the first set in the match at Dubois Saturday and lost 25-28. The good news is they came back to win the match 25-10, 25-16, 25-12.

“We had them down good but then let them back in,” Patrick said.

Serving was up to 92 percent with Davidson a perfect 11 of 11 with an ace; Wiles, 28 of 29 with two aces and Williams 14 of 15 with four aces.

Leading the attack was Stanworth with 11 kills, Nicholson 10, Davidson eight, Wardell seven and Williams three. Williams had three blocks; Davidson 12 digs and Nicholson 11.

No stats were available for the four-set St. Stephens match, but Patrick said after winning the first set, St. Stephens took the second in overtime.

Playing the junior varsity against St. Stephens is an annual thing and Patrick said, “The girls have to step up to win a conference match for us and it puts extra pressure on them.” Playing under pressure is good experience for the girls.

Burlington is in Ten Sleep today to play the Lady Pioneers, and will compete in the Riverside/Greybull duals Friday and Saturday.

“Ten Sleep has a decent team and we’ll have to be at our best. Just because we beat them once, doesn’t mean it will happen again. We have some big conference matches coming up.”

Hopefully Neves will be back on court. “She blocks well, hits well, serves a jump float (an aggressive serve) and is a big player in every aspect of the game. If anyone can come back, she can. She’s mentally tough. It will be a waiting game.”

The Lady Huskies open play Friday with a match with Snake River at 4 p.m. in the Buff gym. That will be followed by a 6 p.m. match with Dubois in the GMS gym.

Saturday the Lady Huskies get an 8 a.m. look at Tongue River in Greybull, after which they’ll head south to Basin where they are scheduled to play WIHS at 2 p.m.

The junior varsity team will play the same opponent(s) immediately after the conclusion of the varsity match.